Changing of the Guard
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 He has been replaced by Mamnoon Hussain, who is a long-time member of the ruling party, the PML-N, and has served as Governor of Sindh for about four months in 1999.