Zardari to leave hospital today, to stay in Dubai
ISLAMABAD PAKISTAN President Asif Ali Zardari is to be discharged from a Dubai hospital on Thursday after more than a week, but will remain in the Gulf emirate to rest with no date fixed for his return home.
The government made the announcement eight days after the president flew suddenly to the United Arab Emirates in the midst of a political scandal, forcing aides to deny that he was seriously ill or about to step down. “All tests are clear and the doctors plan to discharge the president from hospital on Thursday to take rest at home and continue the heart medication,” presidency spokesman Farhatullah Babar told.
“The president is recovering and the doctors have advised him complete rest,” Babar said. Zardari would leave hospital for his house in Dubai, but Babar declined to comment on when the 56- year-old head of state would return to Pakistan.
Nor has any definitive diagnosis of Zardari’s condition been made public.
Last week, a senior member of his Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) told that Zardari had probably suffered a transient ischemic attack, or mini-stroke. His Doctor Khaldoun Taha issued a statement from the American Hospital saying that Zardari was admitted on December 6 with “left arm numbness and twitching” after losing consciousness for a few seconds.
Zardari has a long-standing heart condition, but was admitted “fully awake and conscious with stable vital signs”, Taha said.
Cardiac and neurological tests were conducted, including a brain scan, but “all investigations were within normal range”, the doctor said.
He was now advised to rest at home and continue “regular heart medications”.
Zardari is technically a figurehead president, whose loyal prime minister is responsible for the day-today running of the government.
The military largely controls foreign and security policy, such as the latest crisis in US relations caused by NATO’s killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers in crossborder strikes on November 26.
Zardari has been under considerable pressure over alleged attempts by a close aide to seek US help to limit the power of Pakistan’s military.