Federal and provincial government officials in Pakistan arrested thousands of opposition supporters Friday, a day before a popular opposition leader's return to that country. The arrests were made one day before the planned return of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari. Supporters organized rallies across the country to celebrate his arrival from Dubai where he was visiting his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Dozens of other opposition supporters were injured in clashes with security forces. All transportation into Lahore and other cities was suspended, PPP offices were closed, and several trains bound for Lahore were canceled or stopped before they reached the city.
Mr. Zardari was released on bail last November after eight years in jail awaiting trial on charges ranging from corruption to murder. Ms. Bhutto has lived in self-imposed exile outside Pakistan since 1999.