Zardari stable; will remain under observation

Zardari, left for Dubai on a private visit to meet his children and undergo some medical tests, official reports had said.

Last Updated: Dec 08, 2011, 00:42 AM IST

Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari is in a
"stable" condition after undergoing tests for a heart
condition in Dubai and he is expected to return to Pakistan
once the results of his check-up are available in two to three
days, a close aide to the Pakistani leader said on Wednesday.

"His condition is stable. He has been kept in the ICU
because a lot of visitors were coming to meet him. I advised
him, in order to reduce visitors, that he should stay in the
ICU so that he can rest," said Petroleum Minister Asim
Hussain, a medical doctor who has served as Zardari’s personal
physician.

Hussain said he expected Zardari to return to Pakistan by
the weekend, in time to address a proposed joint session of
both houses of parliament.

"I am pretty confident that he will come to Pakistan," he
told a TV news channel.

Hussain is part of the delegation that accompanied
Zardari to Dubai.

"His activities have been very hectic over the past few
days and I think he is stable now. He will be (in the
hospital) for two to three more days. Once the results of the
tests come in, he will be discharged and he will be back
home," he said.

Zardari would address parliament as scheduled, Hussain
said.

"Addressing parliament is his constitutional right and he
should do it whenever he is better and fit enough. I think he
will definitely address the joint session," he said.

Hussain`s remarks came hours after the Prime Minister’s
House and the presidency issued separate statements that
described Zardari`s condition as stable.

The government issued the statements against the backdrop
of rampant speculation that Zardari?s sudden visit to Dubai
for medical tests was an indication that he was on the verge
of resigning.

But Hussain sought to give the impression that there was
no mystery behind Zardari?s visit to Dubai.

He noted that Zardari`s health problems, including the
heart condition and a problem in the waist, dated back to
his imprisonment in the 1990s.

The President`s medical tests were due to be done in
Pakistan but his son, Pakistan People?s Party leader Bilawal
Bhutto Zardari, and his family "wanted the check-up to be done
in Dubai as it would be better", Hussain said.

"His old surgeon, Dr Imtiaz Hashmi, is now in Dubai and
he too checked him," he added.

government when Zardari had gone abroad for medical tests in
the past or when an angiogram was conducted in Britain.

Pakistan is a "speculative country" and this was the
reason for the rumours about Zaradri?s condition, he
contended.

Much of the speculation about Zardari’s activities
has centred round a report on the website of the US magazine
Foreign Policy, which contended the President intended to step
down due to mounting pressure on him because of the ‘Memogate’
controversy, in which former envoy to the US, Husain Haqqani,
was accused of planning a scheme to curb the powers of the
Pakistani military.

Rumours about Zardari "fleeing" Pakistan have done the
rounds in Islamabad since late last night and there was
widespread speculation in the media, especially TV news
channels, that he may be about to resign on the pretext of
"ill health".

There were also unconfirmed reports that Zardari had
suffered a "minor heart attack" and undergone an angioplasty
in Dubai.

Babar said: "All these media reports are totally
speculative. The President is in a hospital in Dubai for
medical tests and a check-up as already planned."

Zardari and his government have been under pressure since
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public a
secret memo, which he claimed he had drafted and delivered to
the US military on the instructions of Husain Haqqani.

The former envoy has denied these charges.

The Memogate scandal took a new turn recently when Ijaz
claimed that Haqqani and Zardari had prior knowledge of the US
military raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

PTI