Dubai/Islamabad: Beleaguered Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari may fly to London from Dubai for further treatment for his heart complications, media reports quoting his aides said on Friday, fuelling speculation that he is unlikely to return home in the near future.
   
"Zardari will continue to be under observation in Dubai for some more days and it may last even more than two weeks," Gulf News reported, as the media in Islamabad said the Pakistan President is "likely to be flown to London for detailed treatment."
   
Pakistan's 'The News' daily said Zardari, 56, had a "mild" stroke that caused bleeding in the brain and facial paralysis before he was flown to Dubai for treatment.
   
The daily, quoting sources, said the President was stable and out of danger as the stroke and internal bleeding were not "life threatening".
    
Reports about Zardari being in stable condition, however, did little to dampen rumours and speculation that he had suddenly left Pakistan under some kind of safe passage deal, fearing a coup by the military which is said to be upset with him over a number of issues, the latest being the secret memo handed to the US seeking its intervention to avert a possible military takeover.
   
Zardari would require "some treatment, including speech therapy, to resume his normal life", said The News, which is known for its strident criticism of the President.
   
The paper said Zardari "collapsed in the Presidency" on Tuesday because of the stroke.

The Gulf News reported that Zardari was admitted to the American Hospital in Dubai and had undergone more tests for the third consecutive day.
 
"His condition is stable, he is ok," Presidential spokesman Farhatulla Babar said.
   
Gulf News said the 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 the aides said. "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.
   
Gulf News quoted a top Pakistani official as saying that Zardari may not return to Pakistan until the end of this month because of expected decisions on 'memogate' scandal, the National Reconciliation Order (NRO) and the release of Abbottabad Commission report on Osama bin Laden's killing by US forces on May 2.
   
Meanwhile, Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has quietly stepped in to assume a larger role in the affairs of the ruling PPP as his father recovers.
   
A day after he jointly chaired a meeting of the Pakistan People's Party's (PPP's) top leadership with Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Bilawal yesterday received a briefing from the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security, Raza Rabbani.
   
Media reports said that 23-year-old Bilawal had adopted a hands-on role in the functioning of the PPP and would have an office at the presidency.
   
However, there was no official word on the development.

Zardari had stroke, facial paralysis: Report

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had a "mild" stroke that caused bleeding in the brain and facial paralysis before he was flown to Dubai for treatment, a media report said on Friday.
   
However, the President was stable and out of danger as the stroke and internal bleeding were not "life threatening", sources said.
   
Zardari would require "some treatment, including speech therapy, to resume his normal life", said the report in the daily known for its strident criticism of the President.
   
Zardari is "likely to be flown to London for detailed treatment", the daily quoted a source as saying. Zardari "collapsed in the Presidency" on Tuesday because of the stroke, the source claimed after official denials that Zardari had not had a heart attack.
   
The Presidential spokesman had said on Thursday that Zardari's condition was stable and that he would undergo more medical tests in Dubai.
   
The spokesman further said the President had been moved from the intensive care unit to a normal hospital room.
   
Zardari abruptly travelled to Dubai on Tuesday to undergo tests for what officials have described as a previously diagnosed "cardiovascular condition".
   
His sudden departure fuelled speculation that he was on the verge of resigning on grounds of "ill health" due to growing pressure on him because of the "Memogate" scandal.

The News claimed one of its sources had quoted a Presidential aide while another source had got the information from one of the doctors who attended and examined the President.
 
Zardari is a high blood pressure patient and takes blood thinners, the report said.
   
"Such patients at times do experience a stroke, which in the case of the President was mild. In certain cases, it becomes fatal," the report added.
   
It has been widely reported that Zardari has had two or three stents implanted in his heart in the past to open blocked arteries.
   
Federal Minister Mustafa Khokhar had told sections of the media on Wednesday that Zardari had a minor heart attack and had undergone an operation in Dubai.
   
However, he has been incommunicado since then and has not said anything further on the matter.
 

(Agencies)