Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will become the first leader in the country to have completed a full term of five years on Sunday.
The occassion was marked earlier by a ceremony of farewell guard of honour by the smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces in the President's House.
His tenure as president ends on mid-night today, after which he will be attending the oath taking ceremony of newly-elected President Mamnoon Hussain the next day.
Local analysts criticized Zardari's performance in office, saying he did not do much for the economy or to tackle corruption but after he's gone, he will be known for making history after taking steps for strengthening democracy and making possible the transition of power from one civilian government to another.
Zardari had voluntarily surrendered his vast power through the 18th constitutional amendment to strengthen parliamentary democracy. In an interview he had said that he would not seek to become prime minister and would instead focus on leading his party after stepping down as president.
He also played a key role in supporting laws that have empowered women against domestic violence and sexual harassment.
Zardari went into self-exile in Dubai after he was released from jail in 2004 and returned to Pakistan in 2007 following the assassination of his wife and former premier, Benazir Bhutto. He took charge of the Pakistan Peoples Party, leading it to victory in the 2008 general elections, replacing Pervez Musharraf.
At a farewell dinner, he had told staff that he was glad to leave office "with dignity and honour". He also said that he looks forward to working in other capacities in his party in order to serve the younger generation, adding, "the eventual goal is to serve Pakistan and its flag."