Bhutto says she'll return to Pakistan

April 1, 2007 at 8:36 PM

NEW YORK, April 1 (UPI) -- Exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she plans to return to fight for restoration of democracy despite the threat of arrest.

The Harvard-educated leader -- who was the first woman prime minister of a post-colonial Muslim state before losing her job -- told CNN of her plan to return to Pakistan.

"I'm immediately seeking the restoration of democracy in my country," she said. "But if the people of Pakistan wish to vote for me and elect me as prime minister for a third time, I'd be honored."

Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, another exiled prime minister, are strong critics of Pakistan's current President Pervez Musharraf, who deposed Sharif in a bloodless coup in 1999.

Bhutto told CNN she does not believe she would be arrested because nothing has been proved against her.

Bhutto and Sharif are reportedly drawing up a joint strategy to put pressure on the government of Musharraf, who also heads the army.

"I feel something is wrong where extremists have been given a long leash, and I believe my party can contain them and restrain them to bring order back to Pakistan," she told CNN.

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