London, Aug 26: Pakistan Presidential hopeful and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari was suffering from severe mental illness till last year, as he underwent severe torture during his 11 years of imprisonment in the past two decades in different prisons. He was diagnosed with a range of psychiatric illnesses, including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In March 2007, New York psychiatrist Philip Saltiel found that Zardari"s time in detention left him with severe 'emotional instability, memory loss and concentration problems'. “I do not see any improvement in these issues for at least a year," he wrote in a medical report. This has been disclosed in court documents related to Zardari"s corruption cases. Zardari used the medical reports to successfully fight a now defunct English High Court case in which the Pakistan government sought to sue him over alleged corruption. The case was dropped in March.
Stephen Reich, a psychiatrist from New York State, said Zardari was unable to recall the birthdays of his wife and children and had thought about suicide, reported the Telegraph. Zardari was not available to comment on the documents, but Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the Pakistan high commissioner to London said he was now fit and well.
Zardari is his party's candidate to succeed Pervez Musharraf as President of the nuclear-armed country. However, his coalition government with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, fell apart yesterday after Sharif withdrew his party, the The Pakistan Muslim League-N.