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The President of Pakistan is Head of State of Pakistan. Pakistan has a semi-presidential system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by an electoral college to serve a five-year term. The electoral college is comprised of the Senate, National Assembly and the provincial assemblies. The President may be elected but may not serve for more than two consecutive terms. The president may also be impeached and subsequently removed from office by a two-thirds vote by the Parliament. The President must also be a Muslim.
The position of President in Pakistan has traditionally been one of a figurehead, with actual powers lying with the prime minister. However, at various times in history, changes in the Constitution of Pakistan have altered the powers and privileges associated with the office of the President. The current constitution gives the President reserve powers - subject to Supreme Court approval or veto - to dissolve the National Assembly of Pakistan, triggering new elections, and thereby to dismiss the Prime Minister. The President also chairs the National Security Council and appoints the heads of the Army, Navy and Air Force.
In 1947, Pakistan became a dominion within the British Commonwealth with the British Monarch as head of state, represented by the Governor-General of Pakistan. In 1956 Pakistan established its first constitution and became a Republic, and the positions of Queen and Governor-General were replaced by the President.
Pakistan's first president was Iskander Mirza, who was also the last Governor General. In 1958, he abrogated the constitution and declared martial law. A few weeks later, he was overthrown in a bloodless coup d'état by General Ayub Khan, who had declared himself president. The constitution was revised, and the president became the ruler of Pakistan. The constitution also stipulated that the president be elected by the people. Elections were held in 1963, and Khan defeated Fatima Jinnah, sister of founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
Ayub Khan continued as president until March 25, 1969, when he passed the presidency to Yahya Khan. Yahya Khan stepped down after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto became the new president and presided over the formation of a new constitution. This constitution was completed in 1973, and reduced the presidency to a figurehead position, giving power to the Prime Minister. Bhutto stepped down as President and became Prime Minister, symbolizing the transition. The President was henceforth elected by legislative assembly members, not by popular vote. Popular vote would be used to directly elect the members of the National Assembly, including the Prime Minister.
In 1978, Prime Minister Bhutto was toppled by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who declared himself President. The presidency again became the premier position in the Pakistani government. Zia introduced the Eighth Amendment, which gave reserve powers to the President's office. Zia died in 1988 and the Prime Minister's office regained leadership of the country. The Presidency retained its reserve powers until 1997, when the Thirteenth Amendment was passed.
However, the 1999 coup of General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) brought executive powers back to the President's office. National and provincial elections were held in 2002. In December 2003, the Seventeenth Amendment partially restored the President's reserve powers, but made the exercise of those powers subject to Supreme Court approval or veto within 30 days. In January 2004, the Electoral College gave Musharraf a vote of confidence, as result of which he was (according to the Constitution) "deemed to be elected". Musharraf's term of office as President is set to end in 2007.
Syed Iskander Ali Mirza was born in Murshidabad, Bengal, on November 13, 1899 to a Syed feudal family and was a descendant of Mir Jafar. He was a Shia Muslim, as his emblem below displays the sign of the Zulfiqar, the sword of Ali (son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad). He grew up in Bombay. After completing his early education at Elphinstone College Bombay, he was later educated at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, becoming the first graduate from the Indian subcontinent at the academy, and commissioned into the British Indian Army in 1920.), Cmsnd. 2nd-Lieut. IA attached 2nd Btn., Cameronians 16/7/1920, served Khodad Khel Operations 1921 and Waziristan 1924, trsnf. 17th Poona Hse. (Queen Victoria's Own) 1924, joined IPS 1926, Assistant Commissioner . Abbottabad 1926-1928, Bannu 1928-1930, Nowshera 1930-1933, and Tank 1933, Department Commissioner. Hazara 1933-1936 & Marda 1936-1938, Political Agent Khyber 1938-1940, Dep. Cmsnr. Peshawar & Political Agent to the Mohmands 1940, Political Agent Orissa States 1945-1946, Joint Defence Sec. India 1946-1947, Defence Sec. Mirza only served in the army for six years, after which he was the first Indian to be accepted in the elite Indian Political Service, eventually becoming a joint secretary in the Ministry of Defence of British India. In this position, he was responsible for dividing the British Indian Army into the future armies of Pakistan and India.
Upon the formation of Pakistan, Mirza was made the Defence Secretary of the new nation, this appointment owed to Mirza's ranking as the highest Muslim civil servant in India at the time. In 1954, he was made governor of East Pakistan to bring order to a politically distressed region. This position was followed by his being appointed Minister of Interior and Frontier Regions in Prime Minister Muhammad Ali Bogra's cabinet. In 1955, he became acting Governor-General, before becoming the last Governor-General of Pakistan. Iskander Mirza was also a great advocate of the One Unit scheme and believed in the separation of state and religion. When Mirza succeeded the ailing Ghulam Mohammad as Governor-General, he was married to his second wife, Mrs Nahid Mirza, an Iranian lady who was previously the wife of the Military Attaché of Iran in Pakistan.
In 1956, Pakistan established its first constitution, and the position of Governor-General was replaced by that of President. The two were essentially the same, but Mirza was officially elected as President by the Assembly. During his presidency, Pakistan was politically unstable, this was marked by four different prime ministers in two years.
By 1958, realising that the 1956 Constitution was contributing to political instability, Mirza declared martial law on October 7th with the view to introducing a new constitution "more suited to the genius of the Pakistani people" in November. However, it is disputed that even though, he became the first President of Pakistan under the new constitution, he was not very fond of it. He is quoted in the book, Shahabnama , holding the constitution in his hand, and referring it as a "trashy book." Mirza's efforts and energies, as Shahab relates, were geared to one principal purpose, his continuation in office. Mirza was apprehensive that general elections could lead to a change in the Office of President and so elections had to be deferred under some pretext or other, which lead to his declaration of Martial Law on October 7, 1958. He appointed the commander-in-chief of the Pakistan Army, Ayub Khan, as the martial law administrator. Once the deed was done, he realized that he forfeited his own political legitimacy. Less than three weeks into martial law he was ushered out of the Presidential Palace, first to Quetta and then to exile in London. He thus precipitated his departure from the Office of President rather than prolong his tenure. Ayub Khan declared himself President on October 27th after a bloodless coup d'état.
Mirza lived in exile in London till his death in 1969. His life in exile is believed to be of misery and he died penniless . After Yahya Khan's military government refused to allow him to be buried in his own country, his body was flown to Tehran where the Shah of Iran gave him a State Funeral befitting a Head of State.
Muhammad Ayub Khan was born on May 14, 1907, in the village of Rehana near Haripur, in Hazara District. He was the first child of the second wife of Mir Dad Khan, who was a Risaldar Major in Hodson's Horse. According to Ayub, his father had the greatest influence on his character, outlook, and attitude towards life. For his basic education, he was enrolled in a school in Sarai Saleh, which was about 4 miles from his village. He used to go to school on a mule's back. Later he was shifted to a school in Haripur, where he started living with his grandmother. As a child he was interested in playing kabaddi, gulli danda, marbles and hockey. After passing his Matriculation Examination in 1922, Ayub was sent to Aligarh University where he spent four years. However, before appearing in his B. A. exams, he was selected for the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He sailed for England in 1926.
Ayub's performance in Sandhurst was exemplary and he won several scholarships. After the completion of training, he got commissioned in the Indian Army in 1928. He fought at different fronts during World War II, first as a Major and then Colonel. During the communal riots of 1947, he was assigned to assist General Pete Rees in the Punjab Boundary Force. At the time of Independence, Ayub Khan opted to join the Pakistan Army, where as a Brigadier, he was the senior-most Muslim officer. In 1951, he was raised to the status of a four-star General and was appointed as the first local Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army.
By the end of 1968, the public resentment against the Ayub's regime touched a boiling point and an anti-Ayub movement was launched by the urban-middle class; including students, teachers, lawyers, doctors, and engineers. The Joint Labor Council called for a labor strike. Demonstrations and agitation swept the whole country. Law and order broke down and Ayub was left with no other option but to step down.
On March 25, 1969, he resigned and handed over the power to the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, General Muhammad Yahya Khan.
General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan was born at Chakwal in February 1917. His father, Saadat Ali Khan hailed from Peshawar. After completing his studies from the Punjab University, Yahya Khan joined the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dun. He was commissioned in the Indian Army in 1938. His early postings were in the North West Frontier Province. During World War II, he performed his duties in North Africa, Iraq and Italy. After Independence, Yahya Khan played a major role in setting up the Pakistan Staff College at Quetta. During the war of 1965, he commanded an infantry division. He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army in 1966 with the rank of General.
When, in 1969, countrywide agitation rendered the situation out of control, Ayub Khan decided to hand over power to the Army Chief, General Yahya Khan. Immediately after coming to power, Yahya Khan declared Martial Law in the country on March 25, 1969, and assumed the title of Chief Martial Law Administrator. He terminated the Constitution and dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies. On March 31, he also became President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Unlike Pakistan's other military rulers, Yahya Khan was not interested in prolonging his rule. Immediately after taking charge of the country, he started looking for options through which he could hand over power to the elected representatives. On March 29, 1970, through an Ordinance, he presented an interim Constitution, the Legal Framework Order. It was actually a formula according to which the forthcoming elections were to be organized. It goes to the credit of Yahya Khan that the first general elections in the history of Pakistan were held during his regime in December 1970.
The trouble started when the results of the elections were announced. The Awami League, under the leadership of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rahman, swept 160 out of 162 seats allocated to East Pakistan. However, the party failed to get even a single seat from any province of the Western Wing. On the other hand, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party emerged as the single largest party from Punjab and Sindh and managed to win 81 National Assembly seats, all from the Western Wing. This split mandate resulted in political chaos where neither Bhutto nor Mujib was ready to accept his opponent as the Prime Minister of Pakistan. When Bhutto and Mujib failed to reach an understanding about convening a session of the newly elected National Assembly, the ball fell in Yahya Khan's court. He handled the situation badly. He used army and paramilitary forces in East Pakistan to crush the political agitation. This resulted in the beginning of the war between Pakistan and India in the winter of 1971.
Yahya Khan, as President as well as the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Army, failed to plan the war. This ultimately resulted in the defeat of Pakistan, dismemberment of the country and imprisonment of more than 90,000 Pakistanis. Surrender of Pakistani forces without any resistance and the fall of Dhaka made Yahya Khan the greatest villain in the country. People from all walks of life started criticizing him and thus he was left with no other option but to hand over the power to the leader of the most popular party of the remaining part of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, on December 20, 1971. Later Bhutto placed Yahya Khan under house arrest in 1972. Yahya Khan died on August 10, 1980, in Rawalpindi.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was born on January 5, 1928. Before his birth he had two brothers: The first one Sikandar whom Z. A. Bhutto never saw as he fell victim to Pneumonia when he was only seven in 1914 and the second one Imdad Ali who also died of Cirrhosis of the lever at the age of 39 in 1953. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto completed his early education from Bombay's Cathedral High School. In 1947, he joined the University of Southern California, and later the University of California at Berkeley in June 1949. After completing his degree with honors in Political Science at Berkeley in June 1950, he was admitted to Oxford. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto married Nusrat Isphahani on September 8, 1951. He was called to Bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1953, and the same year his first child, Benazir Bhutto, was born on June 21. On his return to Pakistan, Bhutto started practicing Law at Dingomal's.
In 1958, he joined President Iskander Mirza's Cabinet as Commerce Minister. He was the youngest Minister in Ayub Khans Cabinet. In 1963, he took over the post of Foreign Minister from Muhammad Ali Bogra. His first major achievement was to conclude the Sino-Pakistan boundary agreement on March 2, 1963. In mid 1964, Bhutto helped convince Ayub of the wisdom of establishing closer economic and diplomatic links with Turkey and Iran. The trio later on formed the R. C. D. In June 1966, Bhutto left Ayub's Cabinet over differences concerning the Tashkent Agreement.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a Pakistani politician who served as the President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973 and as the Prime Minister from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP), which is one of the largest political parties in Pakistan. His daughter Benazir Bhutto has also served twice as prime minister. Bhutto is often addressed as the Quaid-e-Awam (Leader of the People).
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was born on January 1, 1904, in Gujrat. He received his early education from his hometown and went to Aligarh University for higher education. He did his M. A. in Political Science in 1925 and took his degree of Law from the University of Punjab in 1927. After completing his education, he went back to Gujrat and started practicing Law. He took part in the election of Gujrat District Board and was elected unopposed. He joined the Muslim League in 1942. In 1945, he was elected from Gujrat as the President of Muslim League. He took part in the 1946 elections on Muslim League's ticket and played an important role in propagating the ideas of Muslim League among the people of his area.
After Independence, he was given the post of Parliamentary Secretary. He was later appointed Minister for Education and Health. In 1951, he contested the elections of the Punjab Legislative Assembly on the Muslim League ticket and was elected as a member of the Punjab Assembly. In 1952, he represented Pakistan in the United Nations. In the 1956 elections, he was elected as member of the Assembly and later as the Speaker of the National Assembly. He remained as Speaker till 1958. In 1962, when Ayub Khan announced the elections, he was selected as the Deputy Opposition Leader of the House on the basis of his experience and knowledge about parliamentary proceedings. He joined the Convention Muslim League, and after the 1956 elections, he was elected as the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly.
He was elected as member of the National Assembly in 1970 on the ticket of Pakistan Peoples Party and was later elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly. After the 1973 Constitution, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was made the President of Pakistan for five years on August 14, 1973. On July 5, 1977, the army took over the reigns of power in the country. Fazal Ilahi, however, completed his tenure as President of Pakistan. He resigned on September 16, 1978. He died on June 2, 1982.
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was the one who enforced Martial Law for the third time in the brief history of Pakistan. Second child and eldest son of Muhammad Akram, a teacher in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq was born on August 12, 1924, at Jalandhar. After receiving his early education from Government High School Simla, he did his B. A. Honors from St. Stephen College, Delhi. He was commissioned in the British Army in 1943 and served in Burma, Malaya and Indonesia during World War II. When the war was over, he decided to join the armored corps. At the time of Independence, like most of the Muslim officers in the British Army, Zia-ul-Haq opted to join the Pakistan Army. As a Major he got an opportunity to do a training course in the Commander and Staff College of United States of America in 1963-64. During the 1965 War, he acted as the Assistant Quarter Master of 101 Infantry Division, which was posted at the Kiran Sector. He remained posted in Jordan from 1967 till 1970, where he was involved in training Jordon's military. He was appointed as Corps Commander of Multan in 1975.
On April 1, 1976, in a surprise move the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, appointed Zia-ul-Haq as Chief of Army Staff, superseding five senior Generals. Bhutto probably wanted somebody as the head of the armed forces who would not prove to be a threat for him, and the best available option was the simple General who was apparently interested only in offering prayers and playing golf. However, history proved that General Zia-ul-Haq proved to be much smarter than Bhutto thought. When political tension reached its climax due to the deadlock between Bhutto and the leadership of Pakistan National Alliance on the issue of general elections, Zia-ul-Haq took advantage of the situation. On July 5, 1977, he carried out a bloodless coup overthrowing Bhutto's government and enforced Martial Law in the country.
He ruled Pakistan from 1977 to 1988. His rule over the country, which lasted eleven years, is the longest to date in the history of Pakistan. Appointed Chief of Army Staff in 1976, General Zia-ul-Haq came to power after he overthrew ruling Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, after widespread civil disorder, in a bloodless military coup d'état on July 5, 1977 and imposed Martial Law. He assumed the post of President of Pakistan in 1978 which he held till his death on August 17, 1988.
Ghulam Ishaq Khan (abbreviated as GIK) was President of Pakistan from August 17, 1988 until July 18, 1993. He was born on January 20, 1915, in Ismail Khel Bannu District, N. W. F. P. He did his graduation in Chemistry and Botany and joined N. W. F. P. Civil Service in 1940. After the unification of West Pakistan into One Unit in 1955, Ishaq Khan was appointed Provincial Secretary of West Pakistan for Irrigation Development. In this capacity he represented the Provincial Government in the Federal Planning Commission. In 1958, he became Member W. A. P. D. A. In 1966, he was appointed Federal Finance Secretary and promoted to Secretary General Defense during Bhutto's tenure.
General Zia appointed him Advisor on Finance and later on as Federal Finance Minister. Ishaq Khan represented his country in various international conferences, which include U. N. Conferences on Finance, I. M. F., O. I. C. and Asian Development Bank. In February 1985, Ishaq Khan was elected as Chairman of the Senate. After the death of General Zia, Ishaq Khan took over as acting President of the country on August 17, 1988. He was elected President on December 13, 1988, as the consensus candidate of P. P. P. and I. J. I.
In 1993, Ghulam Ishaq Khan was forced to resign from his office due to differences with the Prime Minister. During his tenure, Ishaq Khan dismissed the Governments of Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif using discretionary powers given to the President under the controversial Eighth Constitutional Amendment.
Wasim Sajjad (b. March 30, 1941) was President of Pakistan on two occasions, serving as interim President prior to elections. Sajjad was born on March 30, 1941 in Jalandhar, Punjab (Now in India). His spent his childhood days at Army Burn Hall College, Abottabad, from where he completed his O and A Levels . His father, the late Mr Justice Sajjad Ahmed Jan, served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, and later as the Chief Election Commissioner. Wasim Sajjad would follow in his footsteps, becoming a lawyer, and attending Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship.
He secured Honors in Jurisprudence in 1966, and a Degree of Bachelor of Civil Law from Oxford University in 1967. He also did a M. A. from Oxford University in 1967. He obtained first position in Administrative Law at Oxford and his Barrister of Law from the Inner Temple, London. At London, Wasim Sajjad was also the President of the Oxford University Islamic Society in 1966, and President of the Oxford University Pakistan Society from 1965 to 1966. He was elected President Oxford University Birkenhead Society 1965-1967, and as Secretary of Wadham College, Oxford, in 1966. He later graduated in 1964.
His political career began in the 1980s when he was elected to the Pakistani Senate. He served as the Federal Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary affairs, and also held the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Interior, under the Government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo. He moved up to Chairman of the Senate in 1988, and served his first term as President in 1993, following the resignation of Ghulam Ishaq Khan. As interim president, Sajjad was essentially a placeholder for the office until elections were completed. He would run in the election for President, but was defeated by Farooq Leghari. In 1997, Sajjad was again made interim President and stepped down upon the election of Muhammad Rafiq Tarar. Sajjad continues to serve in the Pakistani government, and is known for his conciliatory nature among parties.
Sardar Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was President of Pakistan from November 14, 1993 until December 2, 1997.
He was born at D. G. Khan on May 29, 1940. He comes from a family that has served as hereditary chiefs of the Leghari Tribe, and has been active in politics. His father, Nawab Muhammad Khan Leghari, and his grandfather, Nawab Jamal Khan Leghari, both were progressive leaders who introduced their Tribe to modern ideas. His father took prominent part in the Independence Movement and was confined as a political prisoner in 1946. After Independence, his father served as Minister in the Punjab Government from 1949 to 1955.
Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari did his graduation from Aitchison College, Lahore, and earned M. A. P. P. E. from Oxford University in 1963. In the same year, he joined the Civil Service of Pakistan and worked in various fields and Secretariat positions from 1964 to 1973. He left the Civil Service in 1973 on the invitation of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto to join the P. P. P. In 1975, Farooq Leghari was elected Senator. In the 1977 election, he won the National Assembly seat from his ancestral constituency in Dera Ghazi Khan and was appointed Federal Minister for Production. In 1978, he was appointed Secretary General of the P. P. P. and participated in the struggle for the restoration of democracy. He remained Secretary General till 1983 and underwent four years of imprisonment during the Martial Law. Farooq Leghari was elected member of both National and Punjab Assembly in the 1988 elections, and was appointed Federal Minister for Water and Power from December 1989 up to August 1990. In October 1990 elections, he was re-elected member of the National Assembly and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly.
In the caretaker Cabinet in 1993, Farooq Leghari held the portfolio of the Federal Minister for Finance. During this period he presided over the 21st Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers held in Karachi from April 25 to 29,1993. In the October 1993 general elections, he won the National Assembly seat and was appointed Federal Foreign Minister. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari was elected President of Pakistan on November 13, 1993, and took oath the same day for a term of five years. In February 1997, Mian Nawaz Sharif, a major political opponent of Farooq Leghari, was elected as the Prime Minister. With the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment, a direct collision course with the Prime Minster was set. Due to the dilution of Pakistan Peoples Party's role in the assemblies, chances of Leghari's reelection as President in 1998 had also become bleak. On December 2, 1997, Farooq Leghari resigned as the President of Pakistan. Instead of leading a retired life after his resignation from the office of President, Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari entered the political arena by forming his own political party, the Millat Party, on August 14, 1998, in Lahore. His party contested the 2002 election by joining the National Alliance. The National Alliance consisted of seven parties, which included National Peoples Party, National Awami Party, Sindh National Front, Sindh Democratic Alliance, Nizam-i-Mustafa Party, Baluchistan National Party and the Millat Party. Ghulam Mustafa Khan Jatoi led the National Alliance as the Chairman. Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari himself contested the elections from Dera Ghazi Khan and Chicha Watni and won from both seats.
The National Alliance was however unable to secure any major position in the elections. In the National Assembly they won 13 seats. In the Provincial Assembly elections they won 12 seats in Sindh, 12 in Punjab and five seats in Balochistan. They were, however, unable to secure any seats in the N. W. F. P. Province. Despite the fact that the Millat Party and the National Alliance were unable to secure a large number of seats in the present elections, it is viewed that Farooq Ahmad Khan Leghari and his Millat Party will play a key role in the new political set up.
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was President of Pakistan from January 1, 1998 until June 20, 2001. On January 1, 1998, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar took the oath as the ninth President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He secured an all-time high number of votes from an electoral college, consisting of a total membership of two Houses of Parliament and four Provincial Legislatures. No one before him had ever received such overwhelming support from the elected representatives of the people of Pakistan.
Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was born on November 2, 1929, in a middle-class family of the village Pirkot in District Gujranwala, near Lahore. After graduating from Islamia College, Gujranwala, in 1949, Mr. Tarar secured his Law Degree from Law College, Lahore, in the year 1951. The same year he was enrolled as a Pleader. In October 1955, he was enrolled as an Advocate in the Lahore High Court. He established a practice in Gujranwala before rising to the position of Chairman, Punjab Labor Court in 1970. Four years later he entered the High Court and was appointed as the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court. Earlier, during his days as Judge of the Lahore High Court, he also served as member of the Pakistan Election Commission. Justice Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was elevated as a Judge of the Supreme Court in 1991, from which he retired in November 1994 on attaining the age of 65 years.
Following his retirement from the Judiciary in March 1997, Mr. Tarar moved from a legal to a political career. He was elected as member of Senate on P. M. L. (N) ticket. On December 31, 1997, he was elected as the President of Pakistan. His appointment as the President is widely attributed to his close ties with the family of the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif. On June 20, 2001, by virtue of a Provisional Constitutional Order, he was replaced by General Pervez Musharraf, who himself became the President.
Immediately after Independence in 1947, Rafiq Tarar performed voluntary duty as a relief worker in camps set up by Muslim Students Federation for refugees, migrating from the riot-torn India to Pakistan. He has a passion for poetry and literature, with a deep insight into classic Persian Literature. He is married and has four children; three sons and a daughter.
General Pervez Musharraf (Retd) is currently the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
General Pervez Musharraf (Retd), the second of three brothers, was born in Delhi on August 11, 1943. His parents chose to settle in Karachi after the creation of Pakistan. He comes from a middle class family, his father having worked for the foreign ministry. He spent his early years in Turkey, from 1949 to 1956, owing to his father, the late Syed Musharrafu-ud-din’s deputation in Ankara. Fluently he can converse in Turkish language and claims that Kamal Ataturk is his hero.
General Musharraf (Retd) rose to the rank of General and was appointed as the Chief of Army Staff on October 7, 1998 when Pakistan's army chief, General Jehangir Karamat, resigned two days after calling for the army to be given a key role in the country's decision-making process. General Musharraf was given additional charge of Chairman Joint Chiefs Staff Committee on April 9, 1999. On October 12, 1999, when through a bloodless coup the military took over the government in Pakistan, he became the head of the state designated as Chief Executive. He assumed the office of President of Pakistan on June 20, 2001. In order to legitimize and legalize his rule, General Pervez Musharraf held a referendum on April 30, 2002 thereby elected as President of Pakistan for duration of five years. In accordance with the deal with MMA (Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal), he agrees to leave the army on 31st December, 2004 but will continue to serve five-year term as President as he got vote of confidence on January 1, 2004, from the parliament and the four provincial assemblies under the provision of the 17th Amendment duly passed by the National Assembly and the Senate.
He is a natural sportsman, who loves to spend most of his leisure time playing Squash, Badminton or Golf. He also takes keen interest in water sports and has been an enthusiastic canoeist. Being an avid reader, he is well versed in Military History, his favorite subject.
Asif Ali Zardari was born on 26 July 1955 and is the 11th and current President of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). He is also the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister.
A Balochi from a tribe based in Sindh, Zardari rose to prominence after his marriage to Benazir Bhutto in 1987. His political career has been mired in corruption allegations, for which he was imprisoned from 1990 to 1993 and from 1996 to 2004. Between 1993 and 1996, he held various cabinet positions in the second Bhutto administration.
He was arrested for 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 amid rumors of reconciliation between Pervez Musharraf and the PPP. 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.