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The President of Pakistan is Pakistan's Head of State.
Originally, Pakistan was a dominion within the British Commonwealth with the British Monarch as head of state. The monarch was represented in Pakistan by the Governor General. In 1956, dominionship was ended when Pakistan established it's first constitution, and the position of Govenor General was replaced by President.
Pakistan's first president was Iskander Mirza. In 1958, he abrogated the constituion and declared martial law. A few weeks later, he was overthrown in a bloodless coup by General Ayub Khan who had himself declared President. The constitution was revised, and the President became the ruler of Pakistan. The constitution also stipulated that the President be elected by the people. Elections were held in 1963, and Khan defeated the sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima.
Ayub Khan would not be able to hold on to power though, and he would pass the Presidency onto Yahya Khan. Khan would step down after the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto would become the new president, and would preside over the formation of a new Constitution. The new constitution was completed in 1973, and reduced the presidency to a figurehead position, and gave power to the Prime Minister. This was symbolized by Bhutto becoming Prime Minister. The President would henceforth be elected by the National Assembly, not by popular vote. Popular vote would be used to elect the Prime Minister.
In 1978, Bhutto would be toppled by General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq who would declare himself President. The presidency would again become the premeir position of Pakistani government. Zia would appoint Muhammad Khan Junejo as Prime Minister, but later remove him when Junejo tried to check Zia's power. Zia would die in 1988, and the Presidency would return to a figurehead status with power being vested in the Prime Ministership.
However, the 1999 coup of General Pervez Musharraf has brought the President's role back to that of executive, and Musharraf currently holds that position. The President appoints the Prime Minister, who is head of government. However in recent years he has made some power concessions back to the legislature. It remains to be seen if Musharraf will leave office creating a permanent executive presidency for Pakistan, or once again reduce the office to a figurehead.
List of Presidents
note - * denotes military leaders