"We could not provide rivers of milk and honey but tried our best to alleviate the country's problems," Ashraf said in his Saturday speech.
Staying the course
But credit goes to two factors that helped the government stay the course:
The military was content to sit on the sidelines through the topsy-turvy turns -- even when it seemed that the widening rift with the government would force it to intervene as it has in the past.
And President Asif Ali Zardari -- Bhutto's widower -- proved surprisingly agile at survival.
Three years ago, he handed over much of his power to the prime minister -- and in the process, robbed his critics of the accusation that he was amassing power like his predecessor.
He also transferred some power from the central government to the provincial level.
Against this backdrop comes news that Musharraf plans to return to Pakistan from self-imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates, and lead his party in upcoming elections.
Musharraf plans to fly on a commercial airline into Karachi on March 24, then attend a rally with 50,000 people, including more than 200 Pakistani expatriates from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, he said in a statement.
Five years is often enough time for a populace to forgive and forget.
It remains to be seen whether Pakistan, now soured by PPP's reign, welcomes him back with open arms.