Waashington, Dec 8 : The United States on Wednesday wished Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari well after aides said he suffered a heart attack and dismissed rumors that the civilian leader was being pushed out.
"We have seen the reports. We certainly wish him a speedy recovery," said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Zardari's illness sparked media reports that he is contemplating resignation, but loyalists ruled out the idea he may step down.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner, asked if the United States was worried that a quiet coup was underway against the embattled president, said: "No concerns and no reason to believe" the speculation. "Our belief is that it's completely health-related," Toner told reporters
In Islamabad, Minister for Petroleum Dr. Asim Hussain said Zardari was being kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) so he could rest, Geo News reported.
Dr. Asim said the President's medical test was according to schedule and he would undergo further tests in the next few days.
The petroleum minister however did add that President Zardari's tests were normal and it was upon arrival in Dubai when his health deteriorated.
Dr. Asim added that the president would return to Pakistan in the next few days. Meanwhile, Zardari's son and ruling chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPP's Vice Chairman Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani jointly presided over a meeting of the senior party leadership present in Islamabad at the Prime Minister House on Wednesday evening.
Spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting discussed issues relating to the Nato air strikes, the forthcoming Senate elections and the steps for the implementation of the pledge made by the party to meet the longstanding demand of the people for Saraiki province.
The meeting decided that the Joint Session of the Parliament would be called as soon as the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security are finalized.
It was also decided that soon after the return of the PPP Co- Chairman, President Asif Ali Zardari, applications would be invited from the party workers for the Senate elections.
The meeting asked the manifesto committee to expedite finalization of its report on the Saraiki province.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lauded the courageous stand promptly taken by the Government on the Nato air strikes.
The meeting was attended by Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Hina Rabbani Khar, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Syed Khursheed Shah, Dr Babar Awan, Syed Naveed Qamar, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Sherry Rehman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Jahangir Badar, Farhatullah Babar, Rukhsana Bangash and Hashaam Sheikh.
Self-exiled Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain and Awami National Party (ANP) Chief Asfandyar Wali called up and enquired about the health of Zardari.
Altaf Hussain in his telephonic conversation from London with Zardari, apprised the latter about the apprehension of the MQM workers as well as the nation for his health. He also prayed for the speedy recovery of the President.
The ANP leader Asfandyar Wali, in his conversation with the President, hoped that the latter would soon return to the country and resume charge of his responsibilities.