ISLAMABAD, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was sworn in as Pakistani president at a ceremony in Islamabad on Tuesday, embarking on a five-year term in the top office of the country.
Chief Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar administered the oath to the new president at Aiwan-i-Sadr, the presidential house, in Islamabad.
Zardari, in dark suit, took oath of office after he won a two-thirds majority in the presidential election on Saturday to succeed former president Pervez Musharraf who resigned last month under impeachment pressure.
The oath-taking ceremony concluded after a military band playing Pakistan's nation anthem.
Shortly after the grand ceremony, Zardari, widower of slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, was given the guard of honor by a contingent of three armed forces at the presidential house, which he moved in on Monday.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, at the invitation of Zardari, also attended the oath-taking ceremony, a sign of goodwill to ease bilateral tensions.
The Pakistani-Afghan relations have been strained over the anti-terrorism issue. Afghan side has accused Pakistan's intelligence agency of involvement in a string of deadly attacks in Afghanistan.
But former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, the main opposition leader, did not appear at the oath-taking ceremony.
Sharif, chief of the second largest party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), quit the PPP-led coalition over the judge issue and sat on the opposition bench last month.
Sharif has accepted his party's defeat in the presidential race and assured his support for the federal government, but he urged the new president to be neutral.
Zardari has been blamed for bidding for presidency as the PPP co-chairman. He still has the power to dismiss parliament and appoint the heads of the army.