12/07/11

Permalink 'Silent coup' rumors swirl as Zardari leaves Pakistan

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has traveled to Dubai after falling ill, fuelling rumors Wednesday of his possible resignation. - Close associates of the president told the Associated Press he is currently "unwell," but did not provide specifics. His condition did not appear to be life-threatening, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. Zardari's office said he was undergoing routine medical tests and a check-up "as planned." However, Reuters cited a source in Dubai as saying that Zardari had suffered a minor heart attack. "Two days ago, he had chest pain," the source added. Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's office released a statement saying Zardari "went to Dubai following symptoms related to his pre-existing heart condition." The president's spokesman denied a media report that the trip meant Zardari, who has been under pressure from a memo scandal that forced the Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. to resign, would cite failing health as a pretext to step down.

The Guardian: Pakistan president Zardari in Dubai for treatment as coup rumours intensify
BBC: Pakistan's Zardari in hospital 'for heart condition'
Reuters: Pakistan president's 'chest pain' sparks rumors

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