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Pakistani presidential candidates

By NNN-Xinhua,

Beijing : Pakistan’s Election Commission Saturday issued a final list of candidates that includes three contenders for the country’s presidency.

The three candidates are: Asif Ali Zardari, Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, and Mushahid Hussain Syed.

The following is an introduction to the three candidates

Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

Zardari, the Co-Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who twice served as prime minister of Pakistan.

Zardari was born on July 26, 1955 in Sindh in southern Pakistan. He is the son of a Pakistani politician. He married Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 18, 1987.

Zardari served as a member of the National Assembly and minister of environment and investment during his wife’s second term as prime minister in 1993-1996. He also served as a senator from 1997 to 1999.

Zardari spent 11 years in prison. In 1990, Zardari was arrested on charges of blackmail, but the charges were dropped when he was released from prison in 1993.

In November 1996, Zardari was arrested again for corruption but was released soon. On Dec. 19, he was arrested on charge of murdering Bhutto’s younger brother Murtaza Bhutto.

Zardari denied all the accusation and in 2004, he was granted bail and released to receive medical treatment in the U.S.

In 2007, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf remitted all the accusation of Bhutto and Zardari.

Bhutto was assassinated on Dec. 27, 2007 in the city of Rawalpindi near Islamabad, shortly after returning to Pakistan forthe election.

After his wife’s death, Zardari became the co-chairman of the PPP, along with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

— Saeed-uz-Zaman Siddiqui, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Siddiqui was born in December 1937 in the Indian city of Calcutta, and came back to Pakistan with his family in 1956.

He won the bachelor of law from University of Karachi in 1960 and joined the Bar in Pakistan. Siddiqui was first enrolled as a lawyer in High Court of West Pakistan and then elected as Advocate of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In 1980, he was elevated as Judge of Sindh High Court and was appointed as Chief Justice of the Sindh High Court in 1990.

In 1992, he was appointed as Judge of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and then Chief Justice in 1999.

In October 1999, Musharraf was elected as president and in January 2000, Siddiqui quit the post of Chief Justice.

On Aug. 26, 2008, Siddiqui was announced as Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz Sharif Group) nominee to compete for the presidency of Pakistan.

— Mushahid Hussain Syed, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the Senate

Syed was born in the 1950s in a military family and graduated from Georgetown University of the U.S..

Hussain used to work for the Pakistan newspaper the Muslim. From 1997 to 1999, he served as minister of information in the Nawaz Sharif government.

Hussain was arrested after President Musharraf came to power and was released in December 2000. Then he joined the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-azam (ZD) and was elected Senator in 2003.

At present, he is general secretary of the Pakistan Muslim League Quaid-e-azam (ZD) and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.