Syed Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood, a PML-Fleader and a cousin of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, on Tuesday took oath as governor of Pakistan's most populous province of Punjab.
Mahmood, who replaced Pakistan People's Party leader Latif Khosa, was administered the oath by Lahore high court chief justice Umer Ata Bandial.
Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and a sizeable number of PML-N and PPP leaders attended the swearing-in ceremony.
The induction of Mahmood was part of efforts launched by the PPP to shore up its position in Punjab through new alliances ahead of the 2013 general election.
Mahmood, a feudal from Rahim Yar Khan district, has reportedly been tasked to muster the support of political bigwigs from the southern part of Punjab, where he has a good following.
Zardari believes Mahmood will be instrumental in installing a consensus caretaker government in Punjab before the polls as he is considered to be close to both chief minister Shahbaz Sharif and his brother, former premier Nawaz Sharif.
"I have good relations with the Punjab government and it is time that the chief minister and the opposition leader should sit together to form the caretaker government (in the province ahead of the polls)," the new Governor told the media.
Khosa, a close confidant of President Asif Ali Zardari, is expected to be given a new position at the centre.
Khosa assumed office in January last year after the assassination of PPP leader Salmaan Taseer, who was gunned down by one of his police bodyguards for opposing the controversial blasphemy law.