ISLAMABAD, July 28 (APP): The Indonesian government has halted the execution of Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani death row prisoner convicted on drug-related crime in a controversial trial, Ambassador Aqil Nadeem confirmed late Thursday night.
“The officials of Indonesia’s Foreign Office have conveyed us that Zulfiqar Ali’s execution has been stopped and he is safe,” the Ambassador told APP from Jakarta over telephone.
Zulfiqar Ali was among the 14 drug convicts who were shifted to the firing squad at an island outside Jakarta where his execution was stopped last moment. Zulfiqar had filed a clemency appeal to the Indonesian president a day earlier.
The Ambassador said it was a moment of satisfaction that the collective efforts of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Office and the Pakistan Embassy in Jakarta had yielded positive results for Zulfiqar Ali who had not been given a chance of fair trial.
However, he said it was unclear so far whether the Indonesian government had abolished or postponed the death sentence of Zulfiqar Ali.
He said since execution was stopped late midnight, Pakistan Embassy would contact the Indonesian Foreign Office and the Law Ministry for further details in the morning.
Earlier, Pakistan embassy in Indonesia had led an intensive drive to convince the Indonesian authorities over the innocence of Zulfiqar Ali.
The Ambassador 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.
Foreign Office Spokesman Nafees Zakaria had earlier told APP Thursday morning that Pakistan government had taken up the issue appropriately through diplomatic and political channels and would not lose hope till last moment.
According to Foreign Office, Syed Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani national, 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 of the district court in 2006.
The charges were framed against Zulfiqar Ali on the basis of a statement given by a single witness, who was himself sentenced to death. Mr. Zulfiqar Ali’s 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