ISLAMABAD (Agencies): Asif Ali Zardari, the joint candidate of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), has emerged victorious in the presidential race, securing the position as the 14th President of Pakistan.

The polling station at the Parliament House in Islamabad witnessed a decisive victory for Zardari, who garnered 255 votes, leaving his rival Mahmood Khan Achakzai from the Sunni Ittehad Council trailing with 119 votes.

With results pouring in from the four provincial assemblies, Zardari has secured an overwhelming majority, paving the way for him to assume the presidency for the historic second time in the country’s parliamentary history. The ruling alliance threw its support behind the former president and PPP stalwart, solidifying his position against Achakzai, who was backed by the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP).

Born on July 26, 1955, in Karachi, Asif Ali Zardari is the widower of Pakistan’s first female prime minister, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Zardari previously served as the 11th president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013 and is renowned as the first politician to complete a full term in office. His return to the presidency marks a significant milestone in his political career.

Zardari’s achievements during his previous term include spearheading the 18th Amendment, relinquishing presidential powers to strengthen parliamentary democracy and enhance provincial autonomy. His administration prioritized political reconciliation, freedom of media, telecommunications revolution, and revitalizing Pakistan’s energy sector. Zardari’s leadership also led to consensus among political parties on the seventh National Finance Commission (NFC) award, boosting provinces’ financial autonomy.

Noteworthy initiatives such as the Aghaz-i-Huqooq-i-Balochistan package, Pakistan’s National Emergency Action Plan 2011 to combat polio, and the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) were unveiled under his guidance, earning international acclaim. Zardari played a pivotal role in the establishment of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2013, fostering economic ties between the two nations.

His diplomatic acumen reset the contours of Pakistan’s foreign policy, garnering support from the international community on various regional and global issues. With a rich political history and a legacy of transformative policies, Asif Ali Zardari is set to embark on a new chapter as the elected President of Pakistan, steering the nation towards progress and development.

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