|Biographical detail : ||The widower of Benazir Bhutto who got his chance to become President of Pakistan.
A highly controversial figure Asif Zardadi was elected president (2008 – 2013) of Pakistan, a fractious nation of 180 million. His elevation to presidency ranks among the greatest reversals of political fortune in modern history.
His marriage in 1987 to Benazir Bhutto, the daughter of former Pakistani prime minister, surprised many and brought Zardari into the central current of his nation’s turbulent political life.
In 1988 when Benazir Bhutto led the Pakistan People’s Party to victory in election. But her administration was dismissed amid allegations of corruption and incompetence in 1990. Zardari was imprisoned on charges of blackmail.
When the PPP regained power in 1993, Bhutto made her husband minister of investment, a controversial decision given Zardari’s reputation for graft. He was nicknamed “Mr 10 per cent.” Through the early 1990s Zardari collected a breathtaking range of allegations of corruption, implication in murder, attempted embezzlement and even drug trafficking.
After a second, lengthier stint in prison following Bhutto’s second fall from power, Zardari was released after lengthy negotiation between the PPP and Gen Pervez Musharraf, then in power, in 2004.
Twenty years’ experience has taught Zardari much about the brutal game of Pakistan’s politics. When his wife died, he moved swiftly to secure control of the PPP, sidelining his son and skilfully assuming the Bhutto mantle.
Born in Nawabshah and grew up in Karachi, Asif Ali Khan Zardari is the son of a landlord and unsuccessful cinema owner. As a teenager, he was known primarily for his skill at polo and driving fast.