Who is he?:
The 14th president of Pakistan. Zardari assumed office Sept. 9, 2008, after Pervez Musharraf was forced from the presidency. Zardari is also the widower of two-time Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed Dec. 27, 2007, while campaigning again for public office.
July 26, 1955, in Karachi, Pakistan. His father, Hakim Ali Zardari, was head of a Sindhi tribe. He went to school at St. Patrick's in Karachi, where Musharraf also was educated.
Zardari and Bhutto were wed in an arranged marriage on Dec. 18, 1987; going in, Zardari knew that his wife's political career would come first. They had three children together: Bilawal, Bakhtawar, and Asifa. Bilawal is to assume full chairmanship of the Pakistan People's Party once he finishes his education at Oxford.
Pakistan People's Party, an Islamic Socialist and populist party founded in 1967 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir's father. Zardari is co-chairman of the party with son Bilawal. Before Bhutto's death, the PPP largely kept Zardari out of the public eye because of his history with corruption scandal.
A onetime member of the National Assembly, Zardari served as the environment minister during Bhutto's second term as prime minister; he was serving as a senator at the time of Musharraf's 1999 coup, after which the Senate was dissolved. Nicknamed "Mr. 10%" for spending most of the 1990s in corruption scandals, including allegations that both he and Bhutto took kickbacks from Swiss company SGS, Zardari spent eight years in prison before being released in 2004. After threatening Musharraf with impeachment if he did not step down, Zardari was elected president of Pakistan.
The shaky coalition that Zardari had cobbled together with Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party existed for the sole purpose of bringing down Musharraf. Now that Musharraf is gone, and Pakistan faces new challenges from al-Qaida in addition to domestic woes such as the economy, Sharif will be watching for any perceived misstep from the Zardari government.
"The greatest challenge this government faces is an economic one. No elected government can survive the prospects for its people going hungry." -- Zardari addressing a joint session of Parliament on Sept. 20, 2008