Pakistan court orders release of ailing ex-President Zardari

A Pakistani court has ordered the release of an ailing former president on bail on medical grounds, so that he can seek medical treatment at a hospital of his choice in the country

ISLAMABAD -- A Pakistani court ordered on Wednesday that ailing former President Asif Ali Zardari be released on bail on medical grounds, so that he can seek medical treatment at a hospital of his choice in the country.

The development came about five months after Zardari, the widower of the country's assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was arrested by Pakistan's anti-graft body in a multi-million dollar money laundering case.

Shortly after the court order, Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who heads the key opposition Pakistan People's Party, claimed that the days of the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan were numbered. He told reporters that once he recovers, his father will launch a campaign to oust Khan's government.

Zardari, who was arrested in June, was expected to to be freed later on Wednesday.

Khan's predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, was removed from office by the country's Supreme Court over corruption allegations in 2017. Sharif is currently undergoing medical tests in London after being released on bail on medical grounds.

Sharif and Zardari are longtime political rivals but their parties have vowed to launch protests against Khan's government over increasing inflation and a spike in prices of essential foods.