Asif Ali Zardari

11th President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari is the 11th President of Pakistan. He is co-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who served two nonconsecutive terms as Prime Minister. A Sindhi from a landowning tribe of Baloch origin, Zardari rose to prominence after his marriage to Bhutto in 1987. Between 1993 and 1996, he held various cabinet positions in the second Bhutto administration.
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Biography
Asif Ali Zardari's personal information overview.
Birthday
26 July 1955
Relationships
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News
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Letter: ‘Frayed’ Relations Between the U.S. and Pakistan
NYTimes - almost 2 years
Former President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan writes about the “sadly frayed” relationship between the United States and his country.
Article Link:
 NYTimes article
Pakistan: Change but no Change
Huffington Post - about 2 years
On January 2, 2016, terrorists attacked an Indian Air Force at Pathankot, in the northern Indian state of Punjab resulting in the deaths of seven soldiers and six terrorists. The next day terrorists attacked the Indian consulate in Mazar e Sharif, in northern Afghanistan. The Pathankot and Mazar e Sharif attacks demonstrate that the worldview of the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment has not changed with respect to India as the existential threat and jihad as the lever of foreign policy. From New Delhi's perspective every step forward in India-Pakistan relations results, within a short period of time, with a stab in the back that harms relations between the two countries. In February 1999 Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee undertook his famous bus yatra, where he along with his top officials, crossed the border into Pakistan and signed the Lahore declaration with his counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Within a few months the Kargil conflict occurred when the Pakistani...
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 Huffington Post article
Zardari spends Rs 50m to buy PPP's office building in Punjab
The Times of India - about 4 years
Former President Asif Ali Zardari has spent Rs 50 million from his own pocket to buy a house for the cash-strapped Punjab unit of the Pakistan People's Party.     
Article Link:
 The Times of India article
No more excuses for Taliban violence, Bhutto heir tells Pakistan's leaders
Guardian (UK) - about 4 years
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, 25, says prime minister and Imran Khan letting down nation by not backing firm military action Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the youthful heir apparent to one of south Asia's most famous dynasties, has launched a scathing attack on his political opponents who he said must stop "making excuses" for Taliban violence. The 25-year-old son of the assassinated prime minister Benazir Bhutto said Nawaz Sharif, the country's current leader, and the opposition politician Imran Khan, were "letting down the people" by not backing firm military action against the Taliban. "Perhaps they are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome," Bhutto Zardari said, referring to cases of hostages who sympathise with or even assist their captors. "There is no reason why the national leaders, the so-called leaders, should not speak out against people who are murdering our citizens, murdering our armed forces and claiming responsibility." The remarks are likely to further burnish his reputation as ...
Article Link:
 Guardian (UK) article
Pakistan ex-president in court on graft charges
The Times of India - about 4 years
Former Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari appeared before an anti-corruption court on Thursday over multi-million-dollar graft allegations dating back to the 1990s.     
Article Link:
 The Times of India article
Look at the Mountains these young Pakistanis Climb
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Pakistan recently made history in its first smooth transition from one democratically elected leader - Asif Zardari of the Pakistan People's Party to another, Nawaz Sharif from the Pakistan Muslim League. Pakistan frequently dominates headline news with horrific stories on drone attacks, jihadi perpetrated violence, and intra-faith Sunni-Shia killings among fellow citizens. But something different and "electric" happened in my living room this week when fifteen young, Pakistani social entrepreneurs walked in to share their vision, idealism and passion for their country. They believe their youth can become catalysts and engines for change in a promising new Pakistan. They are ready for the challenges, hard work and creative interventions needed for a politically, economically and socially healthy Pakistan. Let me introduce you to a few of these innovators - even as they try to shape a new Pakistan. Raja Banaras from Pakistan Administered Kashmir, one of the social entrepreneurs e...
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 Huffington Post article
Pakistan govt says can't reopen graft cases against Zardari
The Times of India - over 4 years
The Pakistan government has informed the Supreme Court that it cannot reopen multi-million dollar graft cases against former President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland because the issue is "hopelessly time-barred".     
Article Link:
 The Times of India article
Magnificent Delusions: Bilateral misdemeanours
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
KARACHI:  Two years ago, former president Asif Ali Zardari was brought a letter by US President Barack Obama that spelled out a ‘grand bargain’. The US had offered a long-term strategic partnership if Pakistan cooperated in defeating all militant groups that threatened the region’s and American security. But Islamabad was not ready, writes Husain Haqqani in his new book titled Magnificent Delusions: Pakistan, the United States, and an Epic History of Misunderstanding, to be released today (Tuesday). Zardari’s reply repeated old clichés about Afghanistan and the Indian threat, according to the author. National Security Adviser James Jones had received a 50-page thesis on Pakistan’s strategic interests, Haqqani recalls, which he had read while he was the country’s ambassador to the US. He believes Pakistan had ‘missed the opening for defining its partnership with the world’s sole superpower on more favourable terms than ever before’. Haqqani p...
Article Link:
 The Express Tribune Blogs article
Asif Ali Zardari Fast Facts
CNN - over 4 years
Article Link:
 CNN article
Pakistan court reopens graft cases against ex-president Zardari
The Times of India - over 4 years
Pakistan's anti-graft court has reopened five corruption cases against former president Asif Ali Zardari dating back to the 1990s, officials said on Monday.     
Article Link:
 The Times of India article
Indian and Pakistani PMs agree on need to stop Kashmir attacks
Guardian (UK) - over 4 years
Manmohan Singh and Nawaz Sharif meet at New York hotel to discuss new spate of violence threatening decade-long ceasefire The prime ministers of India and Pakistan have agreed they need to stop the recent spate of attacks in the disputed Kashmir region in order for peace talks to advance. They also both accepted invitations to visit each other's countries, although no dates were set, a senior Indian official said. The Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif met for just over an hour at a New York hotel on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in their first face-to-face meeting since Sharif was elected in May. India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and relations between the nuclear rivals have been strained since the 2008 Mumbai attacks – blamed on Pakistan-based militants – that killed 164 people in India's commercial hub. This year, a renewed spate of violence has threatened a decade-long ceasefire on the Kashmir frontier. The Indian national ...
Article Link:
 Guardian (UK) article
Weekly review: Positive triggers help KSE extend bullish trend
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
KARACHI:  The week turned out to be a positive one for the Karachi course as smooth progression of democracy induced a wave of optimism coupled by governance decisions made by the incumbent government over terrorism and privatisation drive. While uncertainty on the outcome of the monetary policy announcement, which was announced after the close of the week, slowed down gains, overall gains at the country’s biggest stock market continued upward momentum, climbing 1.8% over the previous with average volumes clocking in at 239 million shares, up 23% week-on-week. While foreign investment in the last two sessions witnessed an outflow of $5.6 million, on net-basis at the end of the week foreign investment was positive (net inflow) of $2 million, according to KASB Securities market review. In the week, democracy achieved a landmark with new president, Mamnoon Hussain taking over from Asif Ali Zardari, which spurred a wave of confidence in the market...
Article Link:
 The Express Tribune Blogs article
In Pakistan, new President Mamnoon Hussain takes office
LATimes - over 4 years
He replaces Asif Ali Zardari, the first democratically elected Pakistani president to complete his term. Major parties agree to hold talks with militants. ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Mamnoon Hussain was sworn in Monday as Pakistan's new president, replacing Asif Ali Zardari, who becomes the nation's first democratically elected president to complete a full term.
Article Link:
 LATimes article
Mr Asif Ali Zardari, you have done it!
The Express Tribune Blogs - over 4 years
September 8, 2013 is a day for both history and headlines in Pakistan. A historically unprecedented and smooth transfer of presidential power has taken place in our constitutional and political history. There has been no coup d’état by a general, no declaration of emergency, no suspension, abrogation or subversion of the constitution and no declaration of a fifth martial law in the country. A democratically elected head of state has completed his full term and has vacated the office in line with the theory and practice of constitutional provisions. All the headlines emanating from former president Asif Ali Zardari’s completion ... Read Full Post
Article Link:
 The Express Tribune Blogs article
Zardari becomes first Pak president to complete 5-yr term
The Times of India - over 4 years
In a golden moment in Pakistan’s chequered 66-year political history, President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday stepped down and left the presidency after successfully completing his five-year term, paving the way for India-born Mamnoon Hussain to take over.     
Article Link:
 The Times of India article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Asif Ali Zardari
    FIFTIES
  • 2013
    Age 57
    Zardari completed his five-year term on 8 September 2013, becoming the first democratically-elected President in the 66-year-long history of Pakistan.
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    After the PPP was heavily defeated in the 2013 general election, Zardari became the country's first elected president to complete his constitutional term on 8 September 2013.
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    Following multiple bombings of Hazaras in Quetta in early 2013, Zardari dismissed his provincial government in Balochistan.
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  • 2012
    Age 56
    On 8 April 2012, President Zardari, along with his son Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, visited Dargah Sharif in Ajmer, India on a private visit.
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  • 2011
    Age 55
    His father Hakim Ali Zardari died in May 2011.
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    Pakistani news media, including the nation's largest Urdu newspaper (from the Jang Group), reported that Zardari had married Tanveer Zamani in January 2011.
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    In early December 2011 Zardari flew to Dubai undergoing medical tests and treatment, reportedly for a "small stroke".
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    In March 2011, Zardari delivered his annual parliamentary address to a half-empty chamber because of an opposition walkout.
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    In early January 2011, Zardari signed the 19th Amendment, which lessened the likelihood of future clashes between the President and the judiciary by strengthening the power of the Chief Justice in deciding judicial appointments.
    Zardari, who rarely left the Aiwan-e-Sadr presidential palace, responded with a nationwide spurt of speeches in January 2011.
    Zardari went to the United States in January 2011 to attend Special Envoy Holbrooke's funeral.
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    As president, Zardari remained a strong U.S. ally in the war in Afghanistan, despite prevalent public disapproval of the United States following the Raymond Davis incident and the Nato attack in Salala in 2011.
  • 2010
    Age 54
    In late September 2010, the Supreme Court considered removing presidential immunity.
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    In February 2010, Zardari sparked a standoff by attempting to appoint a Supreme Court candidate without the court's approval, but the confrontation ended after he backed down and nominated a candidate acceptable by the court. In April 2010, after months of political pressure, the government passed the 18th Amendment, which reduced the President to a ceremonial figurehead by stripping the office of the power to dissolve Parliament, to dismiss the Prime Minister, and to appoint military chiefs.
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    In January 2010, the Supreme Court ordered Pakistan's government to reopen Zardari's corruption charges in Switzerland.
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    Zardari's tenure was also criticized for mishandling nationwide floods in 2010, and growing terrorist violence.
    Domestically, Zardari achieved the passage of the Eighteenth Amendment in 2010, which constitutionally reduced his presidential powers. His attempt to prevent the reinstatement of Supreme Court judges failed in the face of massive protests led by his political rival Nawaz Sharif. The restored Supreme Court dismissed the PPP's elected Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani for contempt in 2012, after Gillani refused to write to the Government of Switzerland to reopen corruption cases against Zardari.
  • 2009
    Age 53
    In June 2009, Zardari met Singh for the first time since the Mumbai attacks at a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
    In late November 2009, Zardari ceded to Prime Minister Gillani the chairmanship of the National Command Authority, Pakistan's nuclear arsenal oversight agency.
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    In April 2009, President Asif Ali Zardari signed the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation into law.
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    Zardari's government gave in to popular pressure and Prime Minister Gilani in an early morning speech on 16 March 2009 promised to reinstate Chaudhry by 21 March.
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    In February 2009, Zardari and the Musharraf-appointed Supreme Court attempted to disqualify Nawaz Sharif from running in any elections and tried to force his brother Shahbaz Sharif to resign as Chief Minister of Punjab province.
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    In his first visit to Afghanistan as President in early January 2009, Zardari promised a renewed relationship to improve cooperation.
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  • 2008
    Age 52
    He spearheaded a coalition that forced military ruler Pervez Musharraf to resign, and was elected President on 6 September 2008.
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    In mid-November 2008, he suggested Pakistan was ready for a no-first-use nuclear policy and called for closer economic ties. The relationship between the two nations was damaged by the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.
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    In early October 2008, he received fierce domestic criticism for repeatedly calling Kashmiri nationalists (see Kashmir conflict) in India "terrorists".
    In mid-November 2008, Zardari's government officially sent a letter of intent to the IMF regarding a bailout to help increase its foreign exchange reserves.
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    From 14 to 17 October 2008, he was in China to negotiate foreign aid, as Pakistan faced the possibility of defaulting on its payments.
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    He and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed to resume peace talks by the end of 2008.
    From 23 to 26 September 2008, he met with various foreign leaders, including U.S. President George W. Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao.
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    He was elected President on 6 September 2008. At the inauguration on 9 September 2008, Afghan President Hamid Karzai was a guest of honour, which was a signal for much closer cooperation between the two nations in addressing the tribal insurgency along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
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    He warned Musharraf against dismissing Parliament, and the coalition selected Gillani instead of Musharraf to represent Pakistan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
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    In August 2008, Zardari relented, and the coalition agreed to proceed full speed towards Musharraf's impeachment by drafting a charge-sheet against him.
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    He and Sharif met in Lahore in June 2008 to discuss Musharraf's removal and the constitutional amendments, which the PML-N viewed as not going far enough to fulfill the Murree declaration.
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    He and Sharif agreed in a 9 March 2008 agreement, known as the Murree Declaration, to the reinstatement by 30 April 2008 of 60 judges previously sacked by Musharraf.
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    After weeks of speculation and party infighting, he said he did not want to become Prime Minister. In mid-March 2008, he chose Yousaf Raza Gillani for Prime Minister in a snub to the more politically powerful Makhdoom Amin Fahim.
    He himself could not run for Parliament because he had not filed election papers in November 2008, back when he had no foreseeable political ambition while Bhutto was alive.
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    In January 2008, he suggested that if his party did win a majority, it might form a coalition with Musharraf's Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q).
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    He served as the 11th President of Pakistan from 2008 to 2013.
  • 2007
    Age 51
    On the night of 27 December 2007, he returned to Pakistan following his wife's assassination.
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    In the midst of his exile, Zardari had several different legal problems. In Pakistan, Musharraf granted him amnesty for his alleged offences through the National Reconciliation Ordinance, drafted in October 2007.
    After the October 2007 bombing in Karachi that tainted Bhutto's return, he accused Pakistani intelligence services of being behind the attacks and claimed "it was not done by militants".
  • FORTIES
  • 2005
    Age 49
    This left open the possibility of investigations into his alleged involvement in about $2 million in illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein, discovered in October 2005, under the oil-for-food program.
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    In September 2005, he did not show up for a Rawalpindi hearing on corruption charges; the court issued an arrest warrant.
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    In June 2005, he suffered a heart attack and was treated in the United Arab Emirates.
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    Zardari went back to Dubai in May 2005.
    He returned to Lahore in April 2005.
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  • 2004
    Age 48
    He was released from jail in 2004 and went into self-exile to Dubai, but returned when Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007.
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    After his second release in late 2004, he left for exile in Dubai.
    In November 2004, he was released on bail by court order.
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  • 2003
    Age 47
    In August 2003, a Swiss judge convicted Bhutto and Zardari of money laundering and sentenced them to six months imprisonment and a fine of $50,000.
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  • 1999
    Age 43
    Bhutto called for the removal of the chief investigator of the attacks because she claimed he had been involved in Zardari's alleged torture in prison in 1999.
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    In May 1999, he was hospitalised after an alleged attempted suicide.
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    In April 1999, Bhutto and Zardari were convicted for receiving indemnities from a Swiss goods inspection company that was hired to end corruption in the collection of customs duties.
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  • 1998
    Age 42
    In July 1998, he was indicted for corruption in Pakistan after the Swiss government handed over documents to Pakistani authorities relating to money laundering.
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  • 1997
    Age 41
    In December 1997, he was flown to Islamabad under tight security to take his oath.
    In March 1997, Zardari was elected to the Senate while in a Karachi jail.
  • 1996
    Age 40
    Following increasing tensions between Bhutto's brother Murtaza and Zardari, Murtaza was killed in a police encounter in Karachi on 20 September 1996.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1995
    Age 39
    In March 1995, he was appointed chairman of the new Environment Protection Council.
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  • 1994
    Age 38
    In April 1994, Zardari denied allegations that he was wielding unregulated influence as a spouse and acting as "de-facto Prime Minister".
    In February 1994, Benazir sent Zardari to meet with Saddam Hussein in Iraq to deliver medicine in exchange for three detained Pakistanis arrested on the ambiguous Kuwait-Iraq border.
  • 1993
    Age 37
    In April 1993, he became one of the 18 cabinet ministers in the caretaker government that succeeded Nawaz Sharif's first abridged premiership.
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    When Bhutto was reelected in 1993, Zardari served as Federal Investment Minister and Chairperson Pakistan Environmental Protection Council in her second administration.
  • 1991
    Age 35
    On March 25, 1991, the hijackers aboard Singapore Airlines Flight 117 demanded Zardari's release among other demands.
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  • 1990
    Age 34
    In the October 1990 elections, he was elected to the National Assembly while in jail.
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    He was arrested on 10 October 1990 on charges relating to kidnapping and extortion.
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    After the dismissal of Bhutto's government in August 1990, Benazir Bhutto and Zardari were prohibited from leaving the country by security forces under the direction of the Pakistan Army.
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    Although incarcerated, he nominally served in Parliament after being elected to the National Assembly in 1990 and Senate in 1997.
    When Bhutto's government was dismissed by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1990, Zardari was widely criticized for involvement in corruption scandals that led to its collapse.
  • 1987
    Age 31
    He married Benazir Bhutto on 18 December 1987.
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    A landowner from Sindh, Zardari rose to prominence after his marriage to Benazir Bhutto in 1987, becoming the First Gentleman after his wife was elected Prime Minister in 1988.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1983
    Age 27
    Zardari's initial political career was unsuccessful. In 1983, he lost an election for a district council seat in Nawabshah, a city of Sindh, where his family owned thousands of acres of farmland.
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  • TEENAGE
  • 1973
    Age 17
    He went to St Patrick's High School, Karachi from 1973–74; a school clerk says he failed his final examination there.
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  • 1972
    Age 16
    His official biography says he graduated from Cadet College, Petaro in 1972.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1955
    Born
    Zardari was born on 26 July 1955 in Karachi, Sindh in the Zardari family.
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