Musharraf 'to rule for five years'

Pakistan's ruling party has finalised plans to retain the country's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf as the president for another five years, officials said.

Musharraf 'to rule for five years'
The news comes a day after opposition leader Benazir Bhutto vowed to return home to end her self-imposed exile.

Ms Bhutto, who studied in Britain during the 1970s and left Pakistan eight years ago amid corruption allegations, has been negotiating with Musharraf on the possibility of combining their political forces to share power after elections.

On Friday, her party announced that she will return to Pakistan on October 18 to press for the restoration of democracy, regardless of the outcome of her talks on sharing power with Pakistan's US-allied military president, her party said.

Mr Musharraf, also head of Pakistan's military, is seeking allies in his effort to win election by parliament to a new presidential term.

He has seen his popularity slide this year after he tried to remove the country's supreme court's popular chief judge and Islamic militants stepped up attacks.

The government says Bhutto would not suffer the fate of political rival Nawaz Sharif, another former prime minister who was swiftly expelled when he returned from exile on Monday, but officials said she would have to face pending corruption charges.

Press Association
Last Mod: 15 Eylül 2007, 11:56
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