According to a news item, the most popular lawyer Mr. Aitzaz Ahsan reportedly said that the president would have protection under the “principle of sovereign immunity” and that no court could summon him. This is truly amazing. I thought all laws in the Islamic Republic were supposed to be in conformity with Islam (according to which all citizens are equal and no one is superior to the rest), so why has the president been granted immunity?
I’m reminded of the second Khalifa (Hazrat Umar, R.A.) who was openly questioned in the mosque to explain why he was wearing a robe made of a bigger cloth than was allotted to him. If an ordinary man could thus confront the ruler of a much larger country than Pakistan, why is one particular individual granted immunity from being summoned by the courts? If the president of a country can commit a crime and not be punished for it, shouldn’t all citizens be exempted from prosecution as well?
I remember Richard Nixon saying, “If the president did it, it’s not illegal”, but he had to pay dearly for his mistakes. He became the only U.S. president to resign to avoid impeachment, but in Pakistan’s case, impeachment is out of the question (since most parliamentarians are crooks). How can a citizen be proud of his country if its leaders are dishonest?