Benazir Bhutto has returned to Pakistan after an 8 year exile amid huge crowds welcoming her home.
Bhutto was in tears as she descended the steps of the commercial flight that brought her home, where tens of thousands of flag-waving supporters waited to greet her.
This deal has been in the works for months as President Musharraf needs to make a deal to stay in power. Musharraf has already given up his role as the military chief of Pakistan. Bhutto left the country in 1999 amid corruption charges and after Musharraf seized power in a coup in 1998. She only agreed to come home after corruption charges against were dropped.
Bhutto paved her route back in negotiations with Musharraf, who seized power in a 1999 coup. Musharraf is promising to give up his command of Pakistan’s powerful army if he secures a new term as president.
The talks have yielded an amnesty covering the corruption cases that made Bhutto leave Pakistan in the first place, and could see the archrivals eventually team up to fight al-Qaida and the7 Taliban.
Bhutto hopes to run for Prime Minister again, for a record 3rd time this winter in a power sharing agreement with Musharraf.
This is a pretty big deal for the United States, because Bhutto is an avid proponent of the War on Terror. The Muslim extremists are sure to have a problem with her being there. But, she doesn’t care.
Authorities had urged her to cover the 16 kilometers to Jinnah’s tomb by helicopter to reduce the risk of attack. Police said they were using electronic jammers to prevent anyone detonating a remote-controlled bomb near her convoy. But Bhutto, hated by radical Islamists because she supports the U.S.-led war on terrorism, brushed off the concerns.
“I am not scared. I am thinking of my mission,” she told reporters on the plane. “This is a movement for democracy because we are under threat from extremists and militants.”