29 July 2016
Maryam, daughter of Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, on Friday credited her father with saving the life of a convicted Pakistani drug trafficker in Indonesia.
Jakarta executed four convicted drug traffickers on Friday while delaying the death penalty of 10 others from different countries, according to Indonesian officials.
Among those spared was Syed Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani national, arrested on drug trafficking charges from Bogor, Indonesia, in November 2004 and sentenced to death in 2005.
Maryam Nawaz Sharif took to social media to proclaim that Ali’s life was saved due to efforts by her father.
“Despite bleak chance of success, PM NS (Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif) decided to make one more attempt to have Zulfiqar’s execution suspended and it happened,’’ she said.
Maryam, considered Sharif’s future successor, effectively ran the government when her father underwent open-heart surgery in London in May.
Pakistan has been asking Indonesia at various levels, through both political and diplomatic channels, for review of Ali’s case, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman Nafees Zakaria, has said.
“The matter was taken up at the level of the heads of state in 2007,’’ he added.
“Most recently, the adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs raised the matter with the Indonesian ambassador.”
Pakistan’s efforts to convince Indonesia to show mercy towards Ali stands in contrast to its own track record on capital punishment.
It has executed 416 convicts since resumption of the death penalty in December 2014 after six-year moratorium, according to independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
The Pakistani government hanged 333 people in 2015, performing more than one-fifth of worldwide hangings that year, according to Amnesty International.
Pakistan has also rejected appeals from several international and local human rights groups to restore the moratorium on executions.