Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto and himself a leading contender for the country's presidency, was suffering from severe mental illness as recently as last year, it has been reported.
Mr Zardari used the medical reports to successfully fight a now defunct English High Court case Photo: Reuters
Mr Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People's Party, was diagnosed with a range of psychiatric illnesses, including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The illnesses were said to be linked to the fact that he has spent 11 of the past 20 years in Pakistani prisons fighting charges of corruption. He claims to have been tortured during his incarceration.
In March 2007 New York psychiatrist Philip Saltiel found that Mr Zardari's time in detention left him with severe "emotional instability", memory loss and concentration problems, according to court documents seen by the Financial Times.
"I do not see any improvement in these issues for at least a year," he wrote.
Stephen Reich, a psychiatrist from New York State, said Mr Zardari was unable to recall the birthdays of his wife and children and had thought about suicide.
Mr Zardari used the medical reports to successfully fight a now defunct English High Court case in which the Pakistan government sought to sue him over alleged corruption. The case was dropped in March.
Mr Zardari was not available to comment on the documents, but Wajid Shamsul Hasan, the Pakistan high commissioner to London said he was now fit and well.