Islamabad - The husband of Pakistani opposition leader-in-exile Benazir Bhutto has suffered a heart attack but is in stable condition in hospital in the United Arab Emirates, her party said in a statement on Sunday.

Asif Ali Zardari was recovering after undergoing angioplasty following a heart attack on Friday. He was still in intensive care, Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party said in a statement.

"It is expected that as soon as Mr Zardari is allowed to travel he will be going to London for further follow-up of the angioplasty," the party said.

Zardari, in his early fifties, was released on bail in November after eight years in jail on charges ranging from corruption to murder.

He went to Dubai last month to meet Bhutto, who was prime minister for two terms in the 1980s and 1990s. She has been living in self-imposed exile since 1999 for fear of arrest on corruption charges.

Zardari's release raised speculation that President Pervez Musharraf, the army chief who seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, might be considering better relations with Bhutto's secular, liberal party.

But last month authorities detained thousands of Bhutto's supporters to stop them holding a rally to welcome Zardari home from Dubai. He was detained briefly upon arrival.

Her party says it wants to end military rule and restore "real democracy". It wants parliamentary polls due in November 2007 brought forward.

Pakistan has been ruled by the army for more than half its history since independence from Britain in 1947.