کور / تازه خبرونه / Attack fears as Bhutto heads home

Attack fears as Bhutto heads home

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (CNN) — Fulfilling her promise and ending eight years of self-imposed exile, former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said Wednesday she would return to Pakistan through the southern port city of Karachi on Thursday.
“I say a prayer as I prepare to leave and I pray that God give me the strength and the wisdom to bring democracy to my country and to end extremism; to provide food, clothing and shelter, and fulfill the aspirations of the great people of my country who deserve a better future than they have had in the past.”
Bhutto said more than a million people will gather in Karachi on Thursday to welcome her back. Ahead of her arrival police have sealed roads and readied bomb disposal squads amid fears Islamic militants could try to kill her, The Associated Press reported.
Earlier this month, the office of President Pervez Musharraf announced he had signed a “reconciliation ordinance” that dropped outstanding corruption charges against Bhutto and a number of other politicians.
The move could shore up support for the embattled president and possibly strike a power-sharing deal with the former premier.
According to a Bhutto adviser, the move could “pave the way for Mrs. Bhutto’s unhindered return to Pakistan and free and fair elections.”
Bhutto hopes to win a third term for herself as prime minister of Pakistan. That will require a change in the county’s constitution and her adviser, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, indicated that a power sharing deal with Musharraf that would allow that change is in place.
Former Pakistani ambassador to Britain, Akbar Ahmed, told CNN earlier this month that the union would be supported by the United States.
Bhutto is “the civilian face — the politician heading the largest political party in Pakistan,” he said. Her “combining with President Musharraf, who is the tried and trusted ally of the United States for the last several years” would be “a combination which insures stability and continuity — this is crucial for Washington.”
But, Ahmed cited his concern with the “very strong mood of opposition and disillusionment” that has struck the country, a mood that he said will continue to grow.
Bhutto has been a polarizing figure in Pakistan because she’s a woman in a traditional Muslim nation and because of her policies. But, her adviser has said Bhutto only wants a return to democracy.
Musharraf and Bhutto “have been very much on the opposite side of the spectrum, they have been antagonists, now they have come together,” Ahmed said. “It’s going to be a very interesting relationship between these two, but if this can work then you do have a substantial direction being given to Pakistan.”


 

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