Pakistan: Zardari steps down as president; Mamnoon set to take charge

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Islamabad, Sept 8: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday stepped down at the successful completion of his five year term.

Elected in 2008 on support of his Pakistan Peoples Party, Zardari became the first democratically elected president in Pakistan's 66-year-old history to complete his full five-year tenure in office.

Zardari was presented a guard of honour by the armed forces at the President's House here before he left for Lahore.

In the Punjab province capital, he was due to address a gathering of his Pakistan Peoples Party, a spokesperson said.

"I am glad to leave my office with dignity and honour on completion of my five-year term," Zardari told staff of the Presidency at a dinner late Saturday.

He said he took decisions in the interests of the country and voluntarily devolved powers to parliament.

From, Sunday midnight, Zardari will be referred as the 'former president' of Pakistan.

According to a report, Zardari is expected to leave for Lahore where he is scheduled to preside over a meeting of Pakistan People's Party's (PPP) central leadership.

Zardari becomes the first president in Pak's history to complete his full term.

Indian-born Mamnoon Hussain, from the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led PML(N) is all set to replace Zardari and take charge as the new president of Pakistan.

On September 9, Zardari will attend the oath-taking ceremony of the newly elected President Mamnoon Hussain.

73-year-old Mamnoon along-with his family, migrated to Pakistan from Agra, Uttar Pradesh, after the partition.

Zardari's wife and the former prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was assassinated during a rally in December 2007.

OneIndia News

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