Bloomberg News

Pakistan President Zardari Stable After Dubai Hospital Tests

December 07, 2011

(Updates with U.S. reaction in 6th and 7th paragraphs.)

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari was stable in a Dubai hospital after undergoing medical tests linked to a previously diagnosed cardiovascular condition.

“After the initial medical tests in Dubai, doctors found him to be in a stable condition,” a statement from the office of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said today. “The president will remain under observation and return to resume his normal functions as advised by the doctors.”

Zardari, the widower of former premier Benazir Bhutto and head of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, received treatment for a heart condition while living in exile in New York in 2004. Zardari’s office said in a statement a report by U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine that he may resign from his office on health grounds is “speculative and imaginary.”

Gilani’s office issued its statement after Bhutto’s son and political heir Bilawal Bhutto met with the prime minister in Islamabad today.

Last week, Zardari announced plans to address a joint session of parliament amid allegations that his former ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, sought Washington’s help in heading off a feared military coup, following the May killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces near Islamabad.

The U.S. has “no concerns” about a potential military coup in Pakistan, State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters today at a briefing in Washington.

“Our belief is that it’s completely health-related,” Toner said of Zardari’s trip to Dubai.

Court Order

Haqqani was forced to resign by Gilani and Pakistan’s Supreme Court last week barred the former envoy from leaving the country as it investigates the claims against him. The court asked Zardari and the military leadership to submit replies on the issue.

A Pakistani-American businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, has alleged he helped Haqqani deliver a message from Zardari to the then- chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. Haqqani denies the allegations. Pakistan’s military was embarrassed by the raid that killed bin Laden, which was carried out without its knowledge.

--With assistance from David Lerman in Washington. Editors: Steven Komarow, Terry Atlas

To contact the reporter on this story: Haris Anwar in Islamabad at hanwar2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg at phirschberg@bloomberg.net


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