Islamabad: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, who has spent three days in a Dubai hospital, sparking frenzied speculation, "most likely" suffered a mini stroke, a member of his party told AFP on Friday.
Officials said Zardari was moved out of intensive care at the American Hospital on Thursday but was still being treated, forcing allies to deny rumours that he may resign.
A cabinet member said earlier in the week that he suffered a "minor heart attack" but a senior member of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) told AFP on Friday that the cause was "most likely a transient ischemic attack".
Medics describe a transient ischemic attack as a mini stroke that briefly cuts off blood flow to part of the brain, leaving the patient with stroke-like symptoms for a maximum of two hours.
Attacks do not cause lasting damage, but are understood to be an indicator of a possible stroke in the future. The PPP official said that doctors would announce a final diagnosis shortly.
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari will continue to be under medical observation in Dubai for some more days and it may last even more than two weeks before he returns home, Gulf News learnt Thursday.
Zardari, who was admitted in the American Hospital in Dubai on Tuesday night, was moved from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to a room on Thursday, his close aide in the hospital said. He also underwent some more tests on Thursday for the third consecutive day.
"President Zardari's condition is stable, he is OK," said presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
Officials at the Pakistan Embassy were unable to say when the president will return home and declined to comment further.
"It can take two days or even more than two weeks, it all depends on what doctors advise him," one of his aides told Gulf News. He may leave the hospital and rest in his house under observation of doctors, but we want him to stay here because he needs rest," he said.
After speculations died down of Zardari's resignation on the pretext of illness, a top official in Pakistan told Gulf News that Zardari may not return to Pakistan until the end of this month because of the expected decisions on ‘memogate' scandal; the National Reconciliation Order, and the release of Abbottabad Commission report on Osama Bin Laden's killing by US forces.