Zardari's condition stable; US says no military coup in Pak

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Asif Ali Zardari
Dubai/Washington, Dec 8: Asif Ali Zardari, who is undergoing treatment in Dubai following heart complications, is in stable condition but would remain in hospital for few more days, authorities said, amid assertion by the US that the embattled Pakistan President's UAE trip was not political and there was no sign of a "silent military coup".

Downplaying Zardari's sudden departure from home, State Department spokesman Mark Toner, said that the US had no reason to believe that his trip to Dubai was political. "Our belief is that it's completely health-related," Toner said at a regular daily briefing in Washington.

Asked about reports in Pakistan and a section of the US media that Zardari was on his way out, he said: "No concerns, and no reason to believe" that a silent military coup was in the offing in Islamabad. Zardari's sudden departure to Dubai triggered intense speculation, with The Cable -- a blog of US magazine 'Foreign Policy' -- saying that there is "growing expectations inside the US government that Zardari may be on the way out".

56-year-old Zardari was admitted to a Dubai hospital following heart complications and Pakistan's Ambassador to the UAE Jamil Ahmed Khan said investigations done so far are essentially within normal limits and his condition is stable. Khan told Khaleej Times that Zardari's medical tests are satisfactory, but he would remain in hospital under observation.

"A routine evaluation of the President's health is being carried out at the hospital and he is being checked for an existing heart condition. He will remain in hospital until investigations are complete," the Ambassador said. Gulf News quoted officials as denying reports that Zardari underwent angioplasty. "Actually the President underwent an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to check if he has a blood clot in the brain."

PTI

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