Mobs of excited supporters were gathering in Karachi today, eagerly awaiting the return of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto under heavy guard after 8 years in self-imposed exile. Some 20,000 soldiers and police were patrolling the city in the wake of threats by Islamist militants to assassinate Bhutto as well as President President Pervez Musharraf.
Bhutto is returning home from Dubai following talks with the president to establish a power-sharing arrangement that is expected to make her prime minister. Bhutto left Pakistan after Musharraf seized power in a coup. The sounds of guns fired in celebration were heard overnight, and every billboard from the airport features a bigger-than-life picture of Bhutto.