Asif Ali Zardari was sworn in as Pakistan's president on Tuesday, formally
returning the country to civilian rule nine years after Pervez Musharraf seized
power in a military coup.
Mr. Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto, signed the presidential oath in Islamabad and
immediately pledged to work with Afghanistan to fight terrorism.
ceremony was attended by dozens of Pakistan's political leaders and foreign
dignitaries -- including Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Hours later Mr.
Zardari held his first news conference as president and invited Mr. Karzai to
The two leaders vowed to work together to fight Islamic
militants and bring stability to the region.
U.S. President George Bush
telephoned Mr. Zardari and pledged his full support for Pakistan's efforts to
fight terrorism in tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.
Mr. Zardari, the head of the Pakistan People's Party, easily
won the presidency during a vote among lawmakers on Saturday.
inherited a number of pressing problems, including a troubled economy and
international pressure to crack down on militants.
president said that, similar to most countries around the world, Islamabad will
continue to accept foreign aid.