A jet carrying Pakistan’s military ruler and 120 other people bound for England and Pakistan was forced to return to John F. Kennedy International Airport after a bomb threat.
No injuries were reported. The threat was received by telephone after Pakistan International Airlines Flight 722 left the airport Wednesday night, Port Authority spokesman Alan Hicks said.
Pakistan’s military ruler, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was on the plane, said Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States who was with him in New York. She said the flight was expected to be delayed three to four hours.
Dogs Check for Explosives
The plane bound for Manchester, England, and then Karachi turned around and landed without incident. Hicks said authorities were removing passengers and luggage so the jet could be checked by dog teams for explosives.
Hicks said dogs had checked the luggage before it had taken off.
Musharraf took over the leadership of Pakistan last October after the military deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bloodless coup.
Musharraf has vowed to cleanse the country’s politics of corruption before holding elections — a decision that has been widely welcomed by people in Pakistan, though it has drawn criticism abroad. Pakistan’s Supreme Court has given the military-led government three years to complete the task and return the country to democracy.