Asif Ali Zardari is born 26 July 1955. He was the 11th President of Pakistan. He is co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister. A Sindhi from a landowning tribe of Baloch origin, Zardari rose to prominence after his marriage to Bhutto in 1987, becoming the First Gentleman. Between 1993 and 1996, he held various cabinet positions in the second Bhutto administration including Federal Investment Minister, Director-General of Intelligence Bureau and head of Federal Investigation Agency.
He was arrested on charges of corruption in late 1996, following the collapse of the Bhutto government. Although incarcerated, he nominally served in Parliament after being elected to the National Assembly in 1990 and Senate in 1997. He was released from jail in 2004. He subsequently went into self-exile in Dubai, but returned in December 2007 after Bhutto's assassination. As the Co-Chairman of the PPP, he led his party to victory in the 2008 general elections. He spearheaded a coalition that forced Musharraf to resign and was elected President on 6 September 2008.
As president, Zardari has been a consistently strong U.S. ally in the war in Afghanistan, despite prevalent public disapproval of the nation's involvement in the conflict. In late 2008, his government obtained a three-year multi-billion dollar loan package from the International Monetary Fund in an effort to steer the nation out of an economic crisis. In early 2009, his attempt to prevent the reinstatement of Supreme Court judges failed in the face of massive protests led by Nawaz Sharif, his chief political rival. His achievements include the passage of the 18th Amendment in 2010 which reduced his vast presidential powers to that of a ceremonial figurehead. He also holds the honor of being the 1st president to address the joint session of parliament for a record six times. His successor Mamnoon Hussain was elected on 30th July 2013. On 8 September 2013, Zardari became the country's first president to complete his constitutional term and handed over duties to a democratically elected successor.
Early political career
Zardari's initial political career was unsuccessful. In 1983, he lost an election for a district council seat in Nawabshah, a city of Sindh, where his family owned thousands of acres of farmland. He then went into real estate.