What Is #NoTimeToSleep? And Who Was Zulfiqar Ali Khan?

3 min




October 10th, World Day Against the Death Penalty and in regard to that JPP has come up with the idea of #NoTimeToSleep. It is a project of Justice Project Pakistan which is in collaboration with Highlight Arts and Olomopolo media to portray the 24 hours of a prisoner before the execution. Sarmad Khoosat is playing the role of a prisoner and the transmission is going live for 24 hours without any break.


Is basically the time that a prisoner has to face before his execution. The time that is slow but fast at the same time.

The play is roughly based on a true story of a prisoner Zulfiqar Ali Khan. Zulfiqar was a Pakistan Naval officer who held up in an armed robbery back in 1998. As an officer, he had a gun with him and he shot two of the robbers in self-defense.

Zulfiqar couldn’t afford a lawyer and then represented by a court-appointed defense attorney at his trial. The lawyer kept asking for additional money and on refusal, he never heard Zulfiqar’s side of the story and never made an effort to gather evidence. Falsified witness statements were recorded and went unchallenged. As Zulfiqar wasn’t able to afford any other lawyer or resource, he ended up with the sentenced to death by an Anti-Terrorism Court Rawalpindi.

On a death row, Zulfiqar spent 16 years in prison educating the prisoners. He rehabilitated and educated more than 400 prisoners. Many of them made to universities and got degrees. While 24 graduated and 51 passed matriculation.

His students wrote letters to stop his execution but no one heard. One black warrant of execution released on March 24 2015  by the anti-terrorism court. But somehow got delayed. But another black warrant released soon after this.

And unfortunately, Zulfiqar executed on 6th May 2015. Soon after his sentence, his wife died of leukemia.

A remarkable and uninterrupted 24hr performance currently ongoing, where the actor is showing the time period of a Pakistani death row prisoner’s last 24hrs before being executed.

Many celebrities tweeted it in favor of it




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Uzma Atta

A criminologist who happened to be a writer!