Pakistan's Zardari to rest in Dubai for 2 more weeks: report

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 11, 2011 6:54 PM
Pakistan's Zardari to rest in Dubai for 2 more weeks: report

SINGAPORE, Dec 12 - Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will remain in Dubai for two more weeks, the country's prime minister was quoted as saying, after his rush to a hospital there triggered speculation he might resign.

Zardari, 56, likely suffered a transient ischemic attack, sources said last week, which can produce stroke-like symptoms but no lasting damage to the brain.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani told the BBC in an interview published on its website on Sunday that Zardari was making rapid progress in hospital, but needed to rest for two more weeks before returning home.

He denied reports that the president had suffered a stroke and that country's powerful army was trying to oust him.

Zardari suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes and has been under heavy pressure in recent weeks following the resignation of the ambassador to Washington over an alleged memo to the Pentagon asking for help in forestalling a feared coup attempt in May.

That political saga immediately preceded a low-point in relations with the United States after a November 26 cross-border NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

Pakistan has since closed the supply routes to NATO troops in Afghanistan in protest, and Gilani told the BBC that the blockage may last several weeks.

"Yes there is a credibility gap, we are working together and still we don't trust each other," Mr Gilani said, referring to ties with the United States.

(Reporting by Sanjeev Miglani)