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Zardari Steps Down After Completing Presidential Term

Outgoing Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has stepped down after completing his five-year term, becoming the country's first democratically elected leader to serve a full term in office.

His departure from the office with a guard of honor on September 8 was in stark contrast to the exits of previous leaders, who were ousted, forced into exile, arrested, or even hanged.

Jahangir Badar, one of Zardari's closest aides and a member of his Pakistan People's Party said "it is a great achievement ... It shows democracy is getting roots in Pakistan."

Mamnoon Hussain, a businessman associated with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will replace Zardari.

Hussain is scheduled to be sworn in September 9.

Based on reporting by dpa and AP