Eight years after fleeing into exile to avoid corruption charges, Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan in October 2007 to contest elections in which she had a strong chance of becoming prime minister again. Both her supporters and her family’s old enemies were prepared.
Hundreds of thousands greeted her return, but a few hours after she left the airport, two suicide bombers struck her cavalcade, killing 149 people. On that occasion she emerged unscathed.
Before her return, Washington and London had brokered a power-sharing deal between her and the military ruler General Pervez Musharraf, whose star as prosecutor of the West’s war on terror was fading. It was thought that her democratic appeal and his military clout would provide stability.