Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari's overnight arrival in Karachi was aimed at ending the rumours which have gripped the country for the past two weeks regarding his stay in a Dubai hospital, a party official said yesterday.

According to medical advice, Zardari needed to rest for another week in Dubai before flying home but rising political uncertainty made him fly ahead of schedule.

"He had to take rest for one more week but he decided to come back to defeat all the rumours here," said Ejaz Durrani, spokesman for Bilawal House in Karachi.

After his surprise return, Zardari made and received many telephone calls but Durrani did not say whom he talked to.

"There were incoming and outgoing calls [to and] from many political, social, and national personalities," Durrani said and added "the president thanked them all for their concern".

Private televisions channels showed the governor of Sindh, Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, and the provincial chief minister, Qaim Ali Shah, calling on the president.

Durrani said Zardari did not want to go abroad for treatment but it was his son Bilawal and political friends who insisted he go. Many political rallies have been held in the country recently by mainstream parties which predicted Zardari would not come back in view of the ‘memogate' scandal.