With guard of honour, President Zardari steps down

Zardari presided over the only civilian government in Pakistan history to complete a full term in office.

Web Desk September 08, 2013
Asif Zardari inspecting the guard of honour during his farewell ceremony on September 8, 2013. PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari was given a farewell guard of honour in Islamabad on Sunday, Express News reported.

Zardari, who is also the co-chairman of the beleaguered Pakistans Peoples Party (PPP), steps down as the president today, having defied expectations by holding onto power for a record five years.

He headed to Lahore after departing from the President House.

Zardari presided over the only civilian government in Pakistan history to complete a full term in office and hand over to another through the ballot box.

His successor is Mamnoon Hussain, a businessman and close ally of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif whose low-key persona and lack of personal power base puts him in stark contrast to Zardari.

He had earlier said that he will not seek to become prime minister and will instead focus on leading his party after stepping down.

Zardari's children Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari and Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari tweeted as their father stepped down from the presidency.

Former president arrives in Lahore

Addressing over 4,000 party workers that had gathered in Lahore, Zardari said that he would stand by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to see the process of democracy through.

"We have to take the struggle for democracy forward," he said. "An election has to follow after five years."

The former president who reached in Lahore on Sunday said he was confident that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto was by his side.

"We established the very thing they lost their lives for," he stated, adding that Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)'s mandate had been stolen and taken away in the past.

"It would have been easy to start a fire but I have accepted this mandate. I have accepted this Parliament because I do not want politics to happen in Pakistan," he continued.

Commenting on what the future held for the party and him, he said "I no longer have the responsibility of the entire country. Now, I will meet workers, my children and my friends. I will openly interact with everyone and no once can stop that."



maahrijaz jahawri | 8 years ago | Reply

Goodbye My dear leader Mr zardari SB God bless you

Syed A. Mateen | 8 years ago | Reply

From February 18, 2008 till September 08, 2013 PPP did tried to perform well but the fact remains that it can't.

The basic reason for PPP to come into power was the assassination of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and people cast the sympathy votes to PPP in the name of BB Shaheed.

But then PPP could not perform well as it devoted more time to do politics rather than solving problems of a common man.

The inflation reached to its peak whereas the law and order situation could not be tackled by the PPP's "All the Kings Horses and All the Kings Men", which became the main reason of down fall of the PPP Government.

Mr. Zadari was accepted as a leader of PPP but not as a replacement of BB Shaheed.

In May 11, 2013 election, the PPP lost its credibility and therefore being a political party of the centre and provinces, it reduced to a provincial party of Sindh.

PPP could have won the last election but voters wanted a change due to non-cooperation of the sitting government of PPP.

To be in the Government is not a big deal but to retain a government for another five years is really a big deal.

Now PPP even can't win the next election as if there will be a change in the government, PTI will be the ultimate beneficiary.

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