Pakistan’s supreme court called Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani before it on contempt of court proceedings after the government persistently ignored court orders to write to Swiss authorities and ask for a dormant money laundering case to be reopened against President Asif Ali Zardari.
In response Gilani told the court, “He (Zardari) has complete immunity inside and outside the country…In the constitution, there is complete immunity for the president. There is no doubt about it.”
A feature of the democratic Republican system is the concept of immunity from prosecution where the head of state is effectively above the law. This is not unique to Pakistan where Zardari a well-known criminal nicknamed Mr 10% can escape justice while he is President, but exists in other democracies notably Italy where Berlusconi enjoyed immunity for years.
Islam firmly believes in the rule of law which is the sharia. No one in the Caliphate including the Caliph is above the law or has immunity from prosecution. Unlike man-made law sharia cannot be manipulated and changed to suit the personal interests of the Caliph or his entourage or for benefit and harm.
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ firmly established this principle of rule of law in the following hadith.
Narrated ‘Aisha: The people of Quraish worried about the lady from Bani Makhzum who had committed theft. They asked, “Who will intercede for her with Allah’s Messenger?”
Some said, “No one dare to do so except Usama bin Zaid the beloved one to Allah’s Messenger.”
When Usama spoke about that to Allah’s Messenger he said: “Do you try to intercede for somebody in a case connected with Allah’s Prescribed Punishments?”
Then he got up and delivered a sermon saying, “What destroyed the nations preceding you, was that if a noble amongst them stole, they would forgive him, and if a poor person amongst them stole, they would inflict Allah’s Legal punishment on him. By Allah, if Fatima, the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand.” [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 681]
If Fatima رضي الله عنها the daughter of the Prophet ﷺ and leader of the women in jannah is not above the law, then how can Zardari the criminal have immunity?