In a few hours former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to make another attempt to return to Pakistan.
Mr Sharif tried to return in September but was immediately deported by President Pervez Musharraf, who overthrew him eight years ago.
Now the country is under emergency rule imposed by the general.
Hundreds of policemen are deployed at the airport in Lahore, where Mr Sharif is expected to land, but the atmosphere is not as tense as it was in September.
Then the former prime minister was greeted by a massive security clampdown and immediately sent back to exile in Saudi Arabia.
Observers do not expect him to be expelled again, largely because the Saudis have intervened.
They have told President Musharraf that Mr Sharif deserves a chance to fight forthcoming elections because the other former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto, has now returned from exile.
Mr Sharif remains opposed to General Musharraf, but he no longer poses a direct threat because the military leader has recently secured another presidential term by declaring a state of emergency. ( BBC )