KARACHI - Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto ended eight years of self-exile yesterday, returning to Karachi where more than 100000 supporters poured on to the city's streets to welcome her home.
"I am thankful to God. I am very happy that I'm back in my country and I was dreaming of this day," a sobbing Bhutto said as she disembarked an Emirates flight from Dubai.
Bhutto returned to lead her Pakistan People's Party in national elections meant to return her country to civilian rule.
For years Bhutto had vowed to return to Pakistan to end its military dictatorship, yet she is coming back as a potential ally for President Pervez Musharraf, who took power in a 1999 coup.
Before saying goodbye to her two daughters and husband, Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai, Bhutto described Pakistan as being at a crossroads between democracy and dictatorship.
Musharraf is going through his weakest period, and there is strong speculation he will end up sharing power with Bhutto after national elections due in early January. - Reuters