Asserting that “all the legal processes of the convicts have been completed, and all their rights have been fulfilled”, the Indonesian authorities on Thursday rejected all appeals to halt the execution of Zulfiqar Ali and 14 other drug-convicts – leading to speculation that they will be executed as early as Friday.

Almost overnight, the name Zulfiqar Ali had become common currency in the international human rights conversation. In Zulfiqar’s case there is ample evidence that he was tortured into confessing, which also casts doubt on the legality of the other convictions.

Pakistan’s diplomatic machinery had stepped up efforts to bring Zulfiqar Ali back home, going as far as summoning the Indonesian ambassador to the Foreign Office. Meanwhile international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and Human Rights Watch (HRW), also added their voice to the cause urging the South-East Asian nation to halt this “unjust and inhumane punishment”.

These executions have become a localised flashpoint, and the efforts of all parties to put a halt to this is greatly appreciated – even if there is no positive resolution in the end. This is especially true for Pakistan’s Foreign Office, which has not always been completely invested in protecting Pakistani citizens abroad.

Zulfiqar’s case has a unique element since it involves confessions received through torture, but he is not the first Pakistani to be given the death sentence over drug-trafficking charges. Saudi Arabia has beheaded several Pakistanis each year for drug trafficking, many of whom are arguably as innocent as Zulfiqar – having been used as unsuspecting drug mules. However, the Foreign Office has not raised its voice once over these executions, which makes one question the consistency of this protectionist policy. It seems, as in many other things, when it comes to the Arabs, everything is permitted.

However, the biggest inconsistency comes from the state itself; Pakistan is the second most prolific executioner in the world – ahead of the notorious Kingdom. Furthermore, its secretive military courts make even flawed Indonesian trials look almost fair. Only a few months ago, despite national outcry, Shafqat Hussain was hanged based on evidence gleaned from torture. On what grounds can Pakistan stand with organisations such as the Human Rights Watch to ask for clemency, when its own justice system is flawed?