Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan on Thursday, ending eight years of self-imposed exile and carrying "a message of change and hope for a better future for democracy" in the country.
A commercial flight carrying the 54-year-old Bhutto landed at about 1.45 pm local time (2.15 pm IST) at the Karachi International Airport. Thousands of her supporters had congregated at the port city to give her a rousing welcome.
Some 20,000 airport security personnel, policemen and paramilitary personnel as well as bomb disposal squads were deployed in Karachi to protect Bhutto. The former prime minister returned to Pakistan following secret parleys with President Prevez Musharraf for a power-sharing arrangement.
Image: Benazir Bhutto after her arrival at the Karachi International Airport on Thursday.
Photograph: Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Images
Also read: 1977-2007: 30 daunting years for Bhutto