Zardari back in Pakistan from Dubai

Islamabad, Jan 13 | President Asif Ali Zardari, who left Pakistan for Dubai Thursday amid a stand-off between the political leadership and the powerful military, returned to the country early Friday, a media report said.

Geo News reported that Zardari returned home after cutting short his Dubai visit.

Presidency spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that Zardari reached Pakistan after finishing his private business in Dubai.

Zardari’s departure took place Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani asserted his authority by dismissing defence secretary Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a retired lieutenant general widely seen to be close to army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

SIP abacus

Gilani also accused the army chief and ISI chief Lt.Gen. Shuja Pasha of violating the constitution by submitting their replies to the Supreme Court without the government approval in the case over a memo sent to Washington that said President Zardari feared a military take-over following last year’s killing of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.


The Inter-Services Public Relations, the military’s media arm, took a serious view of Gilani’s statement and warned that “this has very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country”.

The president had last month visited Dubai where he was hospitalisied over a heart ailment.

Zardari’s sudden departure then had led to intense speculation with Gilani telling the Senate that an ailing president feared for his life in Pakistan hospitals.

There had been a lot of confusion over Zardari’s health.

Initial reports said he had flown out of Pakistan Dec 6 over a heart ailment. While Pakistan Army doctors had declared him fit, a US-based magazine said he had suffered a minor heart attack.

Later, some media reports said Zardari had suffered a stroke that caused bleeding in the brain and facial paralysis. (IANS)

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