Zardari Back In IslamabadIslamabad, Dec 22 : After an absence of over two weeks, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has returned to Islamabad for consultations with senior leaders of the ruling PPP on the memogate case being heard
Islamabad, Dec 22 : After an absence of over two weeks, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has returned to Islamabad for consultations with senior leaders of the ruling PPP on the memogate case being heard by the Supreme Court and to meet a high-level Chinese delegation.
Zardari flew to the federal capital from the southern port city of Karachi late last night, Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar said.
On Monday, Zardari had returned to Karachi from Dubai, where he had received treatment for a heart condition.
The President's abrupt departure for Dubai on December 6 had sparked rumours that he might be on the verge of resigning due to pressure from the powerful military establishment over a secret memo that had sought the US help to prevent a possible coup in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad in May.
The government has said that Zardari or Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had played no role in drafting or delivering the memo to the then US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen.
Officials said the President had returned to the federal capital to meet the top leadership of the PPP and hold talks with a high-profile delegation from China led by State Councillor Dai Bingguo.
The meeting with the Chinese team will give Zardari the first opportunity to prove that speculation about his incapacity to govern was unfounded, they said.
Zardari decided to return to Islamabad after a meeting with Gilani and Awami National Party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Zardari reportedly vowed to “stand his ground and not run away”.
Hours ahead of Zardari's return, Gilani chaired a meeting of top PPP leaders at the Prime Minister's House to discuss the government's response to the memogate case in the Supreme Court.
The meeting reportedly failed to come to a conclusion on the issue of whether the President should file a response in the apex court.
Zardari is the only one of 10 respondents who did not submit a response within a deadline set by the apex court. At last night's meeting, PPP leaders also discussed a planned presidential address to a joint session of both houses of Parliament.
Some leaders suggested the President should convey his views on the memogate scandal in an address to Parliament instead of submitting a response in court.