The president is in Dubai undergoing medical tests linked to a previously diagnosed cardiovascular condition.
Pakistan's Zardari in Dubai for medical tests
DUBAI // Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari flew into Dubai last night to undergo medical tests, the country’s consulate has said.
The president was accompanied by his personal physicians and a limited number of personal staff.
“According to the president’s personal physician Col. Salman, the proposed medical tests are of routine nature and are linked to a previously diagnosed cardiovascular condition,” said a statement from the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai.
Zardari’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar in Islamabad denied media reports that the president had visited any hospitals for tests or treatment in Pakistan yesterday.
He said the president had held several meetings with government ministers including the prime minister to review security arrangements for Ashura before his departure.
“He was seen off by some MPs and personal staff,” said the consulate statement.
“As of now, the tests and examinations are still in progress under the supervision and coordination of the president’s personal physician,” added the statement last night.
Mr Zardari was planning to address a special mandatory session of the parliament soon. His quiet and sudden trip to Dubai led to rumours that he had been asked to step down by the country’s powerful military, which has been flexing its muscles recently.
However, a senior official of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party , who is also close to the Zardari family, dismissed the rumours about Mr Zardari being eased out of power.
“President Zardari is in Dubai along with his sisters,” the official said.
“He is not well. That’s all.”
*With additional reporting by Salman Masood in Pakistan