Asif Ali Zardari, the PPP co-chief, won the presidential elections held on September 6 with a thumping majority. Having been acquitted of corruption charges in most of the cases, reports noted that Zardari’s election would restore a complete democratic structure in the country1. Earlier, speaking at the Prime Minister’s residence on August 31, Zardari called for a ‘national consensus’ for solving critical issues facing Pakistan and stated that the PPP would work towards ‘political and national unity2.’
Prime Minister Gilani meanwhile, addressing the upper house Senate on September 2, reiterated the PPP’s stand on the abolition of the 17th Constitutional Amendment.
Gilani also stated that the president ought to play a neutral role in state affairs and that he should work towards forging unity amongst the various states3. Gilani’s motorcade was attacked in Islamabad on September 3. However, Gilani was not in the car as it was on its way to pick him up from the airport4.
In other incidents of violence, at least 17 militants and 9 civilians were killed in Swat on September 45. A suicide bomb attack in Peshawar claimed the lives of 30 people and injured as many as 79 on September 66.