Chang­ing of the Guard

Southasia - - BRIEFING -

Pak­istan achieved another sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone when Asif Ali Zardari, who was Pres­i­dent of Pak­istan from 2008 to 2013, com­pleted his fiveyear term. His as­cent to the of­fice in 2008 came as a sur­prise for many. It is widely per­ceived that under Mr. Zardari’s pres­i­dency, the Pak­istan Peo­ples Party gov­ern­ment did lit­tle to ad­dress the ma­jor prob­lems fac­ing the coun­try, es­pe­cially the elec­tric­ity cri­sis. He was a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure as pres­i­dent and was of­ten em­broiled in dis­putes with both the Army and the Supreme Court.

His ma­jor ac­com­plish­ments in­clude en­sur­ing a smooth tran­si­tion of power from one elected gov­ern­ment to another and a con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment that trans­ferred most of the pres­i­dent’s pow­ers to the prime min­is­ter, which made the pres­i­dent’s post a largely cer­e­mo­nial one. Asif Ali Zardari dis­played some states­man­ship in keep­ing to­gether the coali­tion part­ners of the PPP-led gov­ern­ment for five years and en­abling it to com­plete its term de­spite a hos­tile po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. He has been re­placed by Mam­noon Hus­sain, who is a long-time mem­ber of the rul­ing party, the PML-N, and has served as Gov­er­nor of Sindh for about four months in 1999.

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