Pakistan Embassy official meets Zulfiqar Ali in Indonesian jail

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): An official of Pakistan Embassy in Indonesia on Monday met Pakistani death row prisoner Zulfiqar Ali to enquire about his health following the halt of his execution last week.

Head of Chancery Ali Mehmood stayed with Zulfiqar Ali, 52, for over four hours and also met his doctor at the prison at an island outside Indonesian capital Jakarta.

“Zulfiqar seemed to be in good spirits and his health problems are being attended adequately,” the Foreign Office said in an update over the meeting.

The Foreign Office also issued Zulfiqar’s photographs smiling for the camera along with the embassy official, saying the pictures were “reflective” of the prisoner’s condition.

This was the first informal meeting between a representative of Pakistan Embassy and Zulfiqar Ali, since he got a last minute reprieve after the Indonesian government halted his
execution early Friday. However, a request for the formal consular access was pending with the Indonesian government.

The immediate family members of Zulfiqar Ali, including his wife, mother and children, also accompanied the Head of Chancery for the meeting at the Nusakambangan prison island, some 10-hour drive from the Jakarta and later accessible through ferry.

Earlier, the Pakistan Embassy in Indonesia had led an intensive drive to convince the Indonesian authorities over the innocence of Zulfiqar Ali.

Ambassador Aqil Nadeem had contacted the representatives of Presidential Chief of Staff, the Presidential Advisory Council and Chief Justice of Indonesia’s Constitutional Court so as to convey concern over the flawed prosecution in Zulfiqar’s case.

Zulfiqar Ali was arrested on drug trafficking charges from Bogor, Indonesia, in November 2004. The District Court awarded him death sentence in 2005 and the higher court upheld the decision in 2006.

The charges were framed against Zulfiqar Ali on the basis of a statement given by a single witness, who himself was sentenced to death. His two appeals for judicial review, first in 2008 and again in 2013, were turned down and he had filed a clemency appeal with the Indonesian President.