The execution of Zulfiqar Ali, a Pakistani convicted in a drug related issue, has been halted in Indonesia, Waqt News reported. The decision was taken hours before the scheduled execution.

Zulfiqar Ali had been convicted following a controversial trial.

The authorities, however, have executed one national and three Nigerians through firing squad, an official of the Indonesian government told the media.

The Indonesian authorities have not yet clarified the reasons under which the executions of 10 convicts have been halted.

Earlier this week the attorney general of Indonesia stated that 14 people, mostly foreigners, would be executed in the drug related charges.

Following the announcement, family members, NGOs, civil rights activists and the Pakistani government had been pressurizing the Indonesian government to cancel the execution of Zulfiqar Ali. 

Earlier on Thursday, while addressing a briefing Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Nafees Zakaria said Islamabad is in touch with top officials in the Indonesian capital and will keep up efforts to halt Ali's hanging 'till the last moment'.

Indonesia had rejected appeals from the United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) to halt the execution of the 14 drug convicts.

Syed Zahid Raza, the deputy Pakistani ambassador in Jakarta, said Ali's family had been informed he would be executed Thursday night. Ali's family carried out a protest in Lahore on Wednesday against his imminent execution.

Pakistan had been angered about the planned execution of Ali – whom rights groups claim was beaten into confessing – and summoned Indonesia's ambassador in Islamabad this week to convey their concerns.

Ali was arrested in November 2004 in connection with a 300-gram heroine case in Jakarta. A co-accused in the case, Gurdip Singh, retracted his statement against Zulfiqar, saying the confession had been coerced from him.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, who was in Laos for an Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Regional Forum meeting, sought a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on the issue, media reported on Tuesday.

Indonesian Ambassador Iwan Suyudhie Amri had also been summoned to the Foreign Office over the expected execution.