Asif Ali Zardari, born on July 26, 1955, is a Pakistani politician who served as the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013. He was also the co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) alongside his wife, Benazir Bhutto, until her assassination in December 2007.
Zardari was born into a prominent landowning family in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. His father, Hakim Ali Zardari, was a notable politician and member of the PPP. Asif Ali Zardari pursued his education in Pakistan and later attended St. Patrick’s College in Karachi. He married Benazir Bhutto in 1987, solidifying the political alliance between their families.
Zardari’s political career began when his wife became the Prime Minister of Pakistan in 1988. However, their time in power was marred by allegations of corruption and mismanagement. After Bhutto’s government was dismissed in 1990, Zardari faced several legal battles and spent years in prison on charges of corruption and murder.
In 2001, Zardari was released from prison, and following the exile of Benazir Bhutto, he assumed the role of co-chairman of the PPP. He played a crucial role in leading the party and maintaining its influence during Bhutto’s absence. Zardari actively participated in the political landscape and negotiations with other parties to bring about a democratic transition in Pakistan.
Tragedy struck the Zardari family in December 2007 when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during an election campaign rally. In the wake of her death, Zardari assumed leadership of the PPP and spearheaded the party’s campaign in the 2008 general elections.
In the elections held in February 2008, the PPP emerged as the leading party, and Zardari was elected as the President of Pakistan. His presidency faced numerous challenges, including economic instability, political unrest, and counter-terrorism efforts. He focused on strengthening democratic institutions, improving relations with neighboring countries, and tackling issues such as poverty and energy shortages.
Zardari’s presidency was marked by a strained relationship with the judiciary, which accused him of corruption and abuse of power. He faced several legal battles and criticism from opposition parties. In 2013, his presidential term ended, and he peacefully transferred power to the newly elected President, Mamnoon Hussain.
After leaving the presidency, Zardari continued to be involved in politics, advocating for the rights of the PPP and maintaining his influence within the party. However, he faced further legal challenges, including corruption cases and money laundering allegations. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Zardari’s legal battles were ongoing, and the outcomes were yet to be determined.
It’s important to note that the above information represents a brief overview of Asif Ali Zardari’s biography, and there may be more details and developments that have occurred since my last knowledge update.