Zardari travels to Dubai amid political crisis in Pak

Posted By: Pti
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Asif Ali Zardari
Islamabad, Jan 12: President Asif Ali Zardari today travelled to Dubai for a one-day private visit amid a standoff between Pakistan's civilian government and the powerful military on the memo scandal. Zardari would attend a wedding in Dubai and is expected to be back in Islamabad on Friday, official sources told PTI.

The trip was not connected to the ongoing political crisis, the sources said. The President could undergo a medical check-up while in Dubai, the sources said. Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, a key leader of the ruling coalition, told reporters that Zardari's trip had been scheduled earlier and that he was travelling for a medical check-up.

This is the second visit to Dubai by 56-year-old Zardari since the "Memogate" triggered a confrontation between the government and the military last year. He travelled to Dubai on December 6 and remained there for nearly a fortnight for treatment of a heart condition.

It had triggered rampant speculation that Zardari was under pressure from the military to step down. Since then, Zardari has made it clear that he has no intention of quitting as President. Matters came to a head yesterday after the military warned that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's criticism of the army and intelligence chiefs could have "grievous consequences" and the premier sacked the Defence Secretary.3

The current political crisis began when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public an alleged memo that sought US help to prevent a military coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May last year.


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