London, Sep 8 : Asif Ali Zardari, the newly elected Pakistan President, faces the challenge of laying a new course for the country which has witnessed rise in insurgency and the growing economic crisis.
Zardari's election was, however, overshadowed by a car bomb attack on Saturday outside Peshawar, capital of North West Frontier Province, in which as many as 35 people were killed.
A Pakistani security official on Sunday said the increasingly violent Taliban movement was thought to be responsible for the attack, the Financial Times reported.
Hasan Askari Rizvi, a Pakistani political commentator, said Zardari would have a narrow window of opportunity to impress Pakistanis that he was capable of tackling such difficult issues as the militancy challenge and revival of an increasingly moribund economy.
"A major issue for Zardari would be to lay the course for a new future, a new direction for his presidency. He must try to break from his past very quickly," said Rizvi.
"If he does not lay the foundation for a new future, he will become prone to fresh allegations," he added.
A senior western diplomat agreed.
"Zardari will have to move decisively if he wants large powers like the US to support him. Otherwise, if he gets caught up in Pakistan's political infighting, he will then become part of the problem rather than the solution," the diplomat pointed.
Zardari secured 482 votes from the electoral college of 702 consisting of members of the upper and lower houses of parliament and the four provincial legislatures.