Dr. S. M. Rahman While immunity to the President, according to Islamic ethos, is inconceivable, and contrary to the Objectives Resolution, which is the preamble in the 1973 Constitution, however, the Supreme Court has not given any verdict one way or the other with respect to this issue. The judiciary has simply asked the government to write a letter to the Swiss authorities informing them that the previous letter written by ex-Attorney General Malik Qayyum, requesting for the withdrawal of Zardaris cases, is not valid, since the NRO has been declared ultra vires of the Constitution. Thus, the major purpose behind it was only to correct the wrong done by the ex-Attorney General, to inform the Swiss authorities that NRO stands nullified, and to open the cases or to let them remain dormant was the prerogative of the Swiss courts. Since the Swiss government is well aware that the President enjoys immunity, or what legal international norms exist in this respect, there is absolutely no harm in writing a letter. Harping on the immunity issue is absolutely a diversionary technique: The Prime Ministers contention that the court cannot change the Constitution is again to repeat the very obvious. No one in his true state of mind can say that the Supreme Court has the power to amend it. The court, however, has full authority to interpret the constitution and also nullify any law which is against the spirit of the constitution, while Parliament has the power to amend, but not to abrogate it. Changing the basic structure of the constitution or its very spirit does not lie with Parliament. According to, Mr Conrad, the judicial expert, of Heidelberg University, Germany: Parliament cannot change the structure of the Constitution. Anyway, the judiciary is quite ethical and moral in its orders against the NRO beneficiaries. These beneficiaries certainly should be suspended till the time they are cleared by the courts. For example, PPPs Secretary General appeared before the court and now has been cleared of all the charges against him. The other beneficiaries of the NRO should emulate it. But, the governments indifference and deliberate defiance, by not honouring the courts orders for the last over nine months, makes it guilty of affront to its highest judiciary. It is surprising as to why the government is reluctant to rectify an error which the former Attorney General had committed. Indeed, by writing the letter, as ordered by the court, the government can establish its credibility. Therefore, the fear that the Swiss courts would open the cases shows that there is a fly in the ointment, otherwise the apprehension is unfounded. Why should one fear, if he has done no crime is not involved in money laundering or violation of international law? The dignity of the apex court, has been established after a long time due to the 'will of the people. It has asserted to lend dignity to the otherwise much degraded institution by General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. By disgracing the judiciary, the dictator had humiliated the people of Pakistan. It is ironical, in fact outrightly immoral, on the part of some politicians and constitutional experts, who want Musharraf to stage a comeback and grab political power. Such flatterers must not be patronised and pampered by the electronic media. The media must remain glued to the preservation of democracy and not glorify its killers. As far as the Presidents immunity is concerned, the public is in favour of rectifying the situation, as it is not congruent with the Islamic ideology. Even the US subjected its Presidents to face legal proceedings. For instance, Nixon had to resign from his job and Clinton faced a great ordeal and embarrassment by the prosecuting lawyers in the Monica Lewinsky case. The contention that Zardari is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces - as was Nixon and Clinton does not make sense. Were not they enjoying the same status? Then a serving Sri Lankan Army Chief was removed from service on charges of criminal offence. Two Israeli Presidents got sacked for sexual offence and embezzlement charges. Immunity was actually the brainchild of Ayub Khan, the first sinner, who set the tradition of marital law and thus created a vicious precedence to follow by his successors. Musharraf, who has practically destroyed every institution, and by his 'blind subservience to the US, mainly to continue his own hold, Pakistan has been reduced to a vassal state, having no sovereignty whatsoever. Unfortunately, the civil government has adopted the same style of governance - complete subservient to what the US dictates. The Prime Minister is playing second fiddle to the President, which is a gross violation of parliamentary democracy. Thus, only the judiciary is conducting itself gracefully and has become a pride of the nation. It appears determined to eradicate corruption from the society, which is the major determinant of our humiliating image all over the world. The confrontational stance of the government against the judiciary, thus creating a huge crisis has been averted though temporarily, widely believed to be due to the involvement of the Army Chief (though not a laudable step on the part of highest civil authority), but somehow this constitutes a ray of hope that sanity may prevail and the so-called hawkish legal experts would be well advised to refrain from misleading the President and the Prime Minister from graceful implementation of the Supreme Court orders. There is no other way out. Adlai Stevenson made a very valid observation: Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that, sometimes he has to eat them. The writer is secretary general, FRIENDS. Email: friendsfoundation@live.co.uk