( dpa )- The political party of Benazir Bhutto was scheduled to end a 40-day mourning period for the assassinated opposition leader on Thursday and re-launch its campaign for crucial forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Thousands of faithful from the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) gathered at Bhutto's grave near her family's ancestral home in Naudero , in the southern province of Sindh , on Thursday morning for Muslim prayers.
Asif Ali Zardari , Bhutto's husband and PPP co-chairman, was expected to address the crowd and declare the party's campaign open again for the February 18 elections, which are supposed to bring a return of civilian government in Pakistan after more than eight years of military rule.
The PPP, the country's largest political party, had been leading independent polling when Bhutto was killed on December 27 in a gun and suicide bomb attack following an election speech in the city of Rawalpindi .
Her slaying touched off three days of rioting across Pakistan, mostly in her native Sindh province, forcing national election officials to postpone the polls slated for January 8 by five weeks.