The fallout from the May 2 raid continues to rattle Pakistan's government. Last week a Pakistani-American businessman accused President Asif Ali Zardari of having prior knowledge of the raid, something Zardari and the White House deny. But the accusation and a memo allegedly approved by a close ally of Zardari that urged the removal of Pakistan's military leaders have created enormous tension between Zardari and the country's powerful military.
Zardari -- under enormous stress -- was rushed to Dubai earlier this week for what his aides have variously described as a "cardiovascular episode," a "mild heart attack," and even a "mild stroke." It's not clear which, if any, of those diagnoses are accurate, but Zardari was unable or unwilling to take calls for at least a day, according to aides. His departure from Pakistan created massive speculation about whether he was on the verge of resigning.
Today, his condition seems to have improved.
"He was totally lucid, said he'll return soon, and we spoke in detail about U.S.-Pakistan relations, the NATO crisis and other bilateral issues," Mark Siegel, a close Zardari associate who lobbies for the Pakistani government in Washington, told ABC News. "He could not have been more engaged or focused. He asked many questions about the situation in Washington."
Zardari also spoke to Hamid Mir, one of the most popular journalists in Pakistan.
"They think that I have fled but escape is not an option. I will never leave, as I was born in Pakistan and I will die in Pakistan," Mir quoted Zardari as saying. "Inshallah [God willing], I will return in a few days and my enemies will be disappointed."