Asif Ali Zardari Fast Facts

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Here’s a look at the life of Asif Ali Zardari, former president of Pakistan.


Birth date: July 26, 1956

Birth place: Karachi, Sindh province, Pakistan

Father: Hakim Ali Zardari, politician and businessman

Mother: Bilquis Zardari

Marriage: Benazir Bhutto (December 18, 1987-December 27, 2007, her death)

Children: Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Aseefa

Religion: Islam

Other Facts

Zardari is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of an Islamic nation. She was assassinated in December 2007.

In accordance with Pakistani culture, his marriage to Bhutto was arranged.

Nicknamed “Mr. Ten Percent” due to allegations he accepted bribes while his wife was prime minister.


1988 – Bhutto, Zardari’s wife, is elected prime minister of Pakistan.

August 1990 – Bhutto is dismissed from office among allegations of corruption.

1990-1993 – Zardari is jailed on corruption charges.

1993 – Bhutto returns to power.

1993-1996 – Member of Pakistan’s National Assembly. Holds several ministerial positions in Bhutto’s government.

1996 – Bhutto is again dismissed from office among allegations of corruption.

November 1996 – Zardari is arrested and jailed on charges of corruption and murder.

March 1997 – Is elected, from jail, to the Pakistan Senate.

2003 – A Swiss court convicts Bhutto and Zardari of money laundering and orders them to pay the Pakistani government more than $11 million in restitution. The verdict is later overturned on appeal.

2004Is released from prison, ending eight years in custody.

October 2007 – A number of corruption charges against Zardari are dropped when President Pervez Musharraf grants amnesties to a number of politicians.

December 27, 2007 – Bhutto is assassinated during a rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.

December 2007 – Following his wife’s death, Zardari and his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, are named co-chairs of the Pakistan People’s Party.

September 6, 2008 – Is elected president of Pakistan. Zardari is sworn in as president on September 9.

December 16, 2009 – The National Reconciliation Ordinance, an amnesty that shielded Zardari from prosecution, is thrown out by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.

December 2011 – Travels to Dubai to receive medical treatment for a heart condition.

April 8, 2012 – Zardari meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a private trip. It is the first trip to India by a Pakistani leader in seven years.

September 8, 2013 – Leaves office at the end of his five-year term.

December 2016 – Zardari announces that he and his son, Bilawal, will contest the 2018 elections to become members of the Pakistani Parliament.

August 26, 2017 – A Pakistani court acquits Zardari of the last corruption charges pending against him – the charges had lingered for almost two decades.

August 13, 2018-present – Member of the National Assembly.

June 10, 2019 – Zardari is arrested on corruption charges after a court rejected his bail application. The charges against him are related to suspicious transactions worth 4.4 billion Pakistani rupees (about $29 million) allegedly carried out through bank accounts in other people’s names.

December 11, 2019 – The Islamabad High Court grants Zardari bail on medical grounds. He undergoes medical examinations beginning December 14.

August 10, 2020 – Zardari is indicted by an accountability court in Islamabad, Pakistan, on charges of corruption.

September 28, 2020 – Zardari is indicted on money laundering charges, along with his sister and 14 others.

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