Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged Indonesian President Joko Widodo to consider the question of terminally ill Zulfiqar Ali on humanitarian grounds and to allow him to return to his homeland, a Foreign Office (FO) press release said.
Zulfiqar, who is on death row in Indonesia, was diagnosed with end-stage cancer 4. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi welcomed the esteemed dignitary upon his arrival at the PM House in Islamabad.
On this occasion national anthems of both countries were played. Spectacular contingents of armed forces provided an honor guard to the president.
During their meeting, PM Abbasi and President Widodo discussed issues of regional security and bilateral trade and agreed to support each other at regional forums such as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Regarding regional security, the two leaders agreed that “Afghan-led and Afghan ownership” is essential for peace in the region. The Prime Minister also praised Indonesia’s “desire to help Afghanistan with [peace]” and informed him about Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism in the region.
Abbasi and Widodo spoke of increasing bilateral trade, although imports and exports between the two countries over the past three years had crossed the $ 2 billion mark, “a considerable untapped potential,” which can be tapped by using preferential trade agreements ,
Widodo also welcomed the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and other “mega-infrastructure projects” that “provide great opportunities” and “enhance regional links”.On Friday, President Mamnoon Hussain and his Indonesian counterpart Joko Widodo took up the issue of Zulfiqar Ali.
At a meeting with the Indonesian President in Aivan-e-Sadr, Mamnoon asked the dignitary to consider the issue on humanitarian grounds, a Presidency press release said. In response, the Indonesian president, although a legal matter, said that they would deal with it for humanitarian reasons and respect his wish.
According to the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), Zulfiqar Ali, the father of five children, was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer and given three months to live.
His attending physician confirmed last month that Zulfiqar was suffering from liver cancer in both lobes. He also suffers from chronic cirrhosis and diabetes mellitus. After being imprisoned for nearly 14 years for unlawful sentencing, Zulfiqar may die in prison while waiting for his execution.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo also spoke shortly after his arrival Friday in the Joint Parliamentary Session, saying that conflicts and wars would not benefit anyone as people become their main victims and call for unity for peace and stability in the region.
“Conflicts and wars will not benefit anyone, I repeat: conflicts and wars will not benefit anyone, and people, especially women and children, are always the most affected by conflict and war,” Widodo had said.
The meeting was chaired by Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, President of the National Assembly. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, and three department heads and parliamentarians.
Widodo is the second president of Indonesia to hold the joint session as the first Indonesian president, dr. Ahmed Soekarno, held before the National Assembly of Pakistan on June 26, 1963.
President Widodo is the 17th foreign dignitary to speak before the joint session of the National Assembly and the Senate. The others who attended the meeting were leading figures from Iran, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, France, China, the UK and Turkey.