Constitution of Pakistan

Constitution of Pakistan

Overview
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

: آئین پاکستان ) is the supreme law of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Known as the Constitution of 1973, it was drafted by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 and, following additions by the opposition parties, was approved by the legislative assembly on April 10, 1973. It was Pakistan's first ever constitution by consensus unlike two earlier constitutions, the Constitution of 1956
Constitution of Pakistan of 1956
The Constitution of 1956 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from March 1956 until the Revolution of October 1958.-Origins:Pakistan became independent of the United Kingdom in 1947. Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act, 1935 became, with certain...

 and the Constitution of 1962
Constitution of Pakistan of 1962
The Constitution of 1962 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from June 1962 until martial law was declared in March 1969. It was eventually replaced by the current Constitution of 1973.-Origins:...

.

Pakistan's constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 provides for a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government with the President of Pakistan
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and a popularly elected Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

 as head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

.
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Encyclopedia
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

: آئین پاکستان ) is the supreme law of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. Known as the Constitution of 1973, it was drafted by the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 and, following additions by the opposition parties, was approved by the legislative assembly on April 10, 1973. It was Pakistan's first ever constitution by consensus unlike two earlier constitutions, the Constitution of 1956
Constitution of Pakistan of 1956
The Constitution of 1956 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from March 1956 until the Revolution of October 1958.-Origins:Pakistan became independent of the United Kingdom in 1947. Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act, 1935 became, with certain...

 and the Constitution of 1962
Constitution of Pakistan of 1962
The Constitution of 1962 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from June 1962 until martial law was declared in March 1969. It was eventually replaced by the current Constitution of 1973.-Origins:...

.

Pakistan's constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 provides for a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 of government with the President of Pakistan
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 as head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and a popularly elected Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

 as head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

. Pakistan has a bicameral
Bicameralism
In the government, bicameralism is the practice of having two legislative or parliamentary chambers. Thus, a bicameral parliament or bicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of two chambers or houses....

 legislature
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 that consists of the Senate
Senate of Pakistan
The Senate of Pakistan is the upper house of the bicameral Parliament of Pakistan. Elections are held every three years for one half of the senate and each senator has a term of six years...

 (upper house) and the National Assembly
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

 (lower house). Together with the President, the Senate and National Assembly make up a body called the Majlis-e-Shoora
Majlis-e-Shoora
The Parliament of Pakistan, officially termed the Majlis-e-Shoora ; is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate and the National Assembly, the upper and lower houses, respectively...

 (Council of Advisors) or Parliament.

Previous constitutions


Pakistan became independent from British India in 1947, following its partition
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

. The first document that served as a constitution for Pakistan was the Government of India Act, 1935
Government of India Act 1935
The Government of India Act 1935 was originally passed in August 1935 , and is said to have been the longest Act of Parliament ever enacted by that time. Because of its length, the Act was retroactively split by the Government of India Act 1935 into two separate Acts:# The Government of India...

. The first Pakistani Constituent Assembly
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan
The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was formed to write Pakistan's constitution, and serve as its first parliament. It first convened on 11 August 1947, before the end of British rule on August 15, 1947. Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was the first President of this Assembly until his death on...

 was elected in 1947 and after nine years adopted the first indigenous constitution, the short-lived Constitution of 1956
Constitution of Pakistan of 1956
The Constitution of 1956 was the fundamental law of Pakistan from March 1956 until the Revolution of October 1958.-Origins:Pakistan became independent of the United Kingdom in 1947. Under Section 8 of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act, 1935 became, with certain...

.

In October 1958, President Iskander Mirza staged a coup d'état
Coup d'état
A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

and abrogated the constitution. Shortly afterwards General Ayub Khan deposed Iskandar and declared himself president. In 1960 Ayub Khan appointed a commission to draft a new constitution. The new Constitution of 1962 was decreed by President Ayub in March of that year. On 25 March 1969 the Second Martial Law was imposed; President Ayub Khan abrogated the 1962 constitution and handed over power to the Army Commander-in-Chief, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

.

1969–1973


On assuming the presidency, General Yahya Khan acceded to popular demands by abolishing the one-unit system in West Pakistan and ordered general elections on the principle of one man, one vote.

General Yahya's regime made no attempt to frame a constitution. The expectations were that a new constituent assembly would be set up by holding a free and fair election. In order to hold the proposed elections, President Yahya Khan promulgated a Legal Framework Order on 30 March 1970 that also spelled out the fundamental principles of the proposed constitution and the structure and composition of the national and provincial assemblies.

In December, 1970 election
Election
An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office. Elections have been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy operates since the 17th century. Elections may fill offices in the legislature, sometimes in the...

s were held simultaneously for both the national and five provincial assemblies. By any criteria, elections were free and fair.Although Mujib had been freed from prison by Ayub Khan with the aim that he would stop Bhutto from getting an abolsute majority. There was no interference from the government; it maintained strict neutrality showing no favor or discrimination for or against any political parties. The members of the ruling council of ministers were debarred from participation in the elections. There were no allegations of rigging of the elections as is often alleged in elections held in the countries of the Third World
Third World
The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO , or communism and the Soviet Union...

.

But the results of the first and the last general elections in united Pakistan were simply disastrous from the standpoint of national unity and demonstrated the failure of national integration. There was not a single national party in the country which enjoyed the confidence of the people of Pakistan, both East and West Pakistan. Two regional parties—the Awami League
Bangladesh Awami League
The Bangladesh Awami League , commonly known as the Awami League, is the mainstream center-left, secular political party in Bangladesh...

 (AL) under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a Bengali nationalist politician and the founder of Bangladesh. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its Prime Minister. He headed the Awami League, served as the first President of Bangladesh and later became its...

 in East Pakistan—won 160 out of 162 seats allotted for East Pakistan. But in West Pakistan it could not secure a single seat and the percentage of votes secured by the Awami League in the four provinces of West Pakistan were: 0.07 (Punjab
Punjab (Pakistan)
Punjab is the most populous province of Pakistan, with approximately 45% of the country's total population. Forming most of the Punjab region, the province is bordered by Kashmir to the north-east, the Indian states of Punjab and Rajasthan to the east, the Pakistani province of Sindh to the...

), 0.07 (Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

) 0.2 (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (then NWFP)) and 1.0 (Baluchistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

).

The Pakistan Peoples Party
Pakistan Peoples Party
The Pakistan Peoples Party , is a democratic socialist political party in Pakistan affiliated with Socialist International. Pakistan People's Party is the largest political party of Pakistan...

 (PPP) under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 won 88 out of 144 seats for West Pakistan. But the PPP did not even dare to set up a candidate in East Pakistan. The remaining 57 seats of West Pakistan were shared by seven parties and there were fifteen independent candidates. The PPP emerged as the single largest party in West Pakistan with majorities in Sindh and the Punjab; and the National Awami Party
National Awami Party
The National Awami Party was a leftist political party in Pakistan. The party was founded in Dhaka in erstwhile East Pakistan in July 1957 through the merger of several leftist and progressive groups. It advocated provincial autonomy, rights on the basis of ethnicity, recognition of ethinicities...

 (NAP) together with their political ally, Jamiat-ul Ulema-i-Islam
Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan
The Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan is a political party in Pakistan. It is part of the Islamic Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal, that won at the last legislative elections, 20 October 2002, 11.3 of the popular vote and 53 out of 272 elected members.This party belongs to the Sunni current, which in...

 (of Maulana Mufti Mahmood
Mufti Mahmud
Maulana Mufti Mahmud , an ethnic Marwat Pashtun hailing from Abdul Khel, was born in January 1919 in Paniala, Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, province of Pakistan. He was an Islamic scholar and political activist. Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman is his son and was the leader of opposition in...

) JUI, got clear majorities in Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. None of the West Pakistani political parties, like the PPP, could win a single seat in East Pakistan. The religious question played little or no part in the elections. There can be no doubt that in East Pakistan the principles which won the consensus of opinion was the single basic notion of autonomy.

The Awami League had fought the elections on the basis of their six points formula, which committed them to restructure the existing federal system in order to ensure maximum political autonomy for East Pakistan. Under this formula, only two portfolios
Ministry (government department)
A ministry is a specialised organisation responsible for a sector of government public administration, sometimes led by a minister or a senior public servant, that can have responsibility for one or more departments, agencies, bureaus, commissions or other smaller executive, advisory, managerial or...

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Pakistan)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, also known as Foreign Ministry, is a Government of Pakistan's federal and executive Ministry which is responsible for international and Foreign Affairs. The ministry was created in 1947, and was one of the first ministries to be established...

 and Defence—would be retained by the central government
Central government
A central government also known as a national government, union government and in federal states, the federal government, is the government at the level of the nation-state. The structure of central governments varies from institution to institution...

. The PPP, on the other hand, was not willing to dilute the authority of the central government in spite of assuring full provincial autonomy for all the provinces of Pakistan. The NAP and JUI coalition sided with the AL so that they might obtain maximum autonomy for their own provinces, i.e., Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

The election results truly reflected the ugly political reality: the division of the Pakistani electorate along regional lines and political polarization of the country between the two wings, East and West Pakistan. In political terms, therefore, Pakistan as a nation stood divided as a result of the very first general elections in twenty-three years of its existence.

Thus the general elections of 1970 produced a new political configuration with three distinct centres of power:(i) the AL in East Pakistan: (ii) the PPP in Sindh and the Punjab; and (iii) the NAP-JUI in Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. At the top of all this was the fourth centre of power, the armed forces with their spokesman, Yahya Khan.

There were two major claimants of power: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Negotiations were held between January and March 1971 between the two major regional leaders—Mujib and Bhutto—and the ruling military government under President Yahya Khan. But the tripartite negotiations for an agreed federal or even a confederal constitution was a dismal and total failure. Under the Legal Framework Order, the President was to decide when the Assembly was to meet. Once assembled it was to frame a new constitution within 120 days or stand dissolved. On 13 February 1971, the President announced that the National Assembly was to meet at Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

 on 3 March. By this time the differences between the main parties to the conflict had already crystallized. . East Pakistan Army command which was operating more or less independently of Islamabad was committing human rights abuses and was making negotiations difficult.

On 22 December 1970 the Secretary of the Awami League, Tajuddin Ahmad
Tajuddin Ahmad
Tajuddin Ahmad was a Bangladeshi politician and statesman who served as the first Prime Minister of Bangladesh...

, claimed that his party having won an absolute majority had a clear mandate and was quiet competent to frame a constitution and to form a central government on its own. Sheikh Mujibur Rehman declared on 3 January 1971 that his party would not frame a constitution on its own, even though it had a majority. He refused, however, to negotiate on the Six Points, saying that they were now public property and no longer negotiable.

The crux of the conflict was that the majority party in the west, led by Bhutto, was convinced that a federation
Federation
A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

 based on the Six Points would lead to a feeble confederation in name only and was part of larger Indian plan to break up Pakistan. At best it would lead to a feeble confederation
Confederation
A confederation in modern political terms is a permanent union of political units for common action in relation to other units. Usually created by treaty but often later adopting a common constitution, confederations tend to be established for dealing with critical issues such as defense, foreign...

 and at worst it would result in the division of the country into two states. These fears were evidently shared by the military leaders in the west, including President Yahya Khan who had publicly described Sheikh Mujibur Rehman as the 'future Prime Minister of Pakistan' on 14 January 1971.

Bhutto announced on 15 February that his party would not attend the National Assembly unless there was 'some amount of reciprocity' from the Awami League. Sheikh Mujib replied at a press conference on February 21, asserting that 'Our stand is absolutely clear. The constitution will be framed on the basis of the Six Points'. He also denied that the Six Points would leave the central government at the mercy of the provinces and contended that they were designed only to safeguard provincial autonomy.

On 28 February , Bhutto demanded that either the 120-day limit for the national Assembly be removed or the opening session be postponed, declaring that if it was held on 3 March as planned, there would be a general strike throughout West Pakistan. President Yahya Khan responded next day by postponing the Assembly meeting to 25 March. The postponement of the National Assembly came as a shattering disillusionment to the Awami League and their supporters throughout East Pakistan. It was seen as a betrayal and as proof of the authorities of the West Pakistan to deny them the fruits of their electoral victory. This resulted in the outbreak of violence in East Pakistan. The Awami League launched a non-cooperation movement and virtually they controlled the entire province.

The National Assembly, however, could not even meet on 26 March due to widespread disturbances in East Pakistan where the army moved in on 26 March to control the situation. The civil disobedience
Civil disobedience
Civil disobedience is the active, professed refusal to obey certain laws, demands, and commands of a government, or of an occupying international power. Civil disobedience is commonly, though not always, defined as being nonviolent resistance. It is one form of civil resistance...

 movement later developed into a war of national liberation fully backed by the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

. As a result, Pakistani forces
Pakistan Army
The Pakistan Army is the branch of the Pakistani Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. The Pakistan Army came into existence after the Partition of India and the resulting independence of Pakistan in 1947. It is currently headed by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani. The Pakistan...

 had to surrender to the Indian Army, and almost over 93,000 military personnel were taken as prisoners of war
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war or enemy prisoner of war is a person, whether civilian or combatant, who is held in custody by an enemy power during or immediately after an armed conflict...

 on 16 December 1971. Thus ended an important era of the largest Muslim state, Pakistan. A new and smaller Pakistan emerged on 16 December 1971.

Demoralized and finding himself unable to control the situation, General Yahya Khan retired. Bhutto who was sworn in on 20 December 1971 as President and as the (first civilian) Chief Martial Law Administrator.

Drafting and enactment


After gaining power, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto invited the leaders of the parliamentary parties to meet him on 17 October 1972, which resulted in an agreement known as the 'Constitutional Accord', after an intensive discussion. As per consultations floated by PPP, the National Assembly of Pakistan appointed a committee, of 25 members, on 17 April 1972, to prepare a draft of the permanent Constitution of Pakistan. Mahmud Ali Kasuri
Mahmud Ali Kasuri
Mian Mahmud Ali Kasuri was a prominent Pakistani opposition politician, human rights advocate and lawyer...

 was the elected chairman of the Committee. On 20 October 1972, the draft bill for the Constitution of Pakistan was signed by leaders of all parliamentary groups in the National Assembly. A bill to provide a constitution for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was introduced in the Assembly on 2 February 1973. The Assembly passed the bill nearly unanimously on 19 April 1973 and endorsed by the acting President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on 12 April 1973. The Constitution came into effect from 14 August 1973. On the same day, Bhutto took over as the Prime Minister and Choudhary Fazal-e-Elahi
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry
Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry (Punjabi, ; (January 1, 1904 - June 2, 1982) was the fifth President of Pakistan from August 14, 1973 until his resignation on September 16, 1978.-Early life:...

 as the President of Pakistan.

18th Amendment


Parliament of Pakistan recently (April 2010) passed the 18th Amendment Bill that guarantees federal parliamentary system and reduced presidential powers. The 18th Amendment makes several fundamental changes to the Constitution including the renaming of the NWFP province to "Khyber Pakhtunkhwa." In addition, through the amendment, any attempt to subvert, abrogate, or suspend the constitution is now defined as an act of high treason.

Provisions


This constitution represented a compromise consensus on three issues: the role of Islam; the sharing of power between the federal government and the provinces; and the division of responsibilities between the President and the Prime Minister, with a greatly strengthened position for the latter.

The Constitution provided for federal system. The Federal Legislature is to function like the British Parliament. In order to allay fears of the provinces concerning domination of the Centre, the constitution established a bicameral legislature with a Senate (the upper house), providing equal provincial representation, and a National Assembly (the lower house), allocating seats according to population.

Islam has been declared as the state religion
State religion
A state religion is a religious body or creed officially endorsed by the state...

. The Constitution named Pakistan as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Only a Muslim could become the President or the Prime Minister of Pakistan. No law repugnant to Islam shall be enacted and the present laws shall also be Islamised
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

.

The President must be a Muslim not less than 45 years of age, elected by members of Parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

. He is to hold office for a term of five years. The President could be removed by the resolution of parliament of not less than two thirds of the total membership. The President could issue ordinances when the Parliament is not in session. The President has the power of granting pardon and the right to be kept informed by the Prime Minister on all matters of internal and foreign policies.

The Constitution sets forth the parliamentary system of Government. The head of the Government, according to the Constitution, will be the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister and his Cabinet is accountable to the National Assembly for his actions. The Prime Minister would be elected by the majority of the National Assembly.

The Constitution of 1973 introduced a new institution known as the 'Council of Common Interests' consisting of Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

s of the provinces and an equal number of Ministers
Minister (government)
A minister is a politician who holds significant public office in a national or regional government. Senior ministers are members of the cabinet....

 of the Federal Government nominated by the Prime Minister. The Council could formulate and regulate the policy in the Part II of the Legislative List. In case of complaint of interference in water supply by any province the Council would look into the complaint.

Another major innovation in the Constitution of 1973 is the establishment of a National Finance Commission (NFC) consisting of the Federal and Provincial Finance Ministers
Finance Minister of Pakistan
The Finance Minister of Pakistan heads the Ministry of Finance and serves in the Prime Minister's cabinet. The Minister is required to be a member of the Parliament.The current finance minister is Abdul Hafeez Shaikh...

 and other members to advice on distribution of revenues between the federation and the provinces.

The Principals of Policy includes Islamic way of life, promotion of Local Government institutions, full participation of women in national life, protection of minorities, promotion of social and economic well being of the people, and strengthening the bonds with the Muslim world and to work for international peace.

Under the 1973 Constitution, Fundamental Rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 include security of person
Security of person
Security of the person is a basic entitlement guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948. It is also a human right explicitly mentioned and protected by the Constitution of Canada, the Constitution of South Africa and other laws around the...

, safeguards as to arrest and detention, prohibition of slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 and forced labour
Unfree labour
Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery as well as all other related institutions .-Payment for unfree labour:If payment occurs, it may be in one or more of the following forms:...

, freedom of movement
Freedom of movement
Freedom of movement, mobility rights or the right to travel is a human right concept that the constitutions of numerous states respect...

, freedom of association
Freedom of association
Freedom of association is the individual right to come together with other individuals and collectively express, promote, pursue and defend common interests....

, freedom of speech, freedom to profess
Profession (religious)
The term religious profession is defined in the 1983 Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church in relation to members of religious institutes as follows:By religious profession members make a public vow to observe the three evangelical counsels...

 religion
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 and safeguards to religious institutions, non-discrimination in respect of access to public places and in service, preservation of language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

s, script and culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

. The judiciary enjoys full supermacy over the other organs of the state.

Urdu is the national language.

Islamic provisions

  • The name 'Islamic Republic of Pakistan' is selected for the state of Pakistan.
  • Islam is declared as the state religion of Pakistan.
  • Steps shall be taken to enable the Muslims of Pakistan, individually or collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam.
  • Steps shall be taken to make the teaching of the Qur'an and Islamiyat compulsory, to encourage and facilitate the learning of Arabic language and to secure correct and exact printing and publishing of the Qur'an.
  • Proper organisation of Zakat, waqf and mosques is ensured.
  • The state shall prevent prostitution, gambling
    Gambling
    Gambling is the wagering of money or something of material value on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning additional money and/or material goods...

     and consumption of alcohol, printing
    Printing
    Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

    , publication
    Publication
    To publish is to make content available to the public. While specific use of the term may vary among countries, it is usually applied to text, images, or other audio-visual content on any medium, including paper or electronic publishing forms such as websites, e-books, Compact Discs and MP3s...

    , circulation and display of obscene
    Obscenity
    An obscenity is any statement or act which strongly offends the prevalent morality of the time, is a profanity, or is otherwise taboo, indecent, abhorrent, or disgusting, or is especially inauspicious...

     literature
    Literature
    Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

     and advertisements
    Advertising
    Advertising is a form of communication used to persuade an audience to take some action with respect to products, ideas, or services. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering, although political and ideological advertising is also common...

    .
  • Only a Muslim could be qualified for election as President (male or female) and Prime Minister (male or female). No restriction as to religion or gender on any other post, up to and including provincial governor and Chief Minister.
  • All existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Qur'an and Sunnah and no law shall be enacted which is repugnant to such injunctions.
  • A Council of Islamic Ideology
    Council of Islamic Ideology
    Council of Islamic Ideology is a constitutional body responsible for giving legal advice on Islamic issues to Pakistan Government and the Parliament.-Functions:The council has following functions:...

     shall be constituted referred to as the Islamic Council. The functions of the Islamic Council shall be to make recommendations to Parliament and the Provincial Assemblies about the ways and means of enabling and encouraging the Muslims of the Pakistan to order their lives in accordance with the principles of Islam.
  • The President or the Governor of a province may, or if two fifths of its total membership so requires, a House or a Provincial Assembly shall, refer to the Islamic Council for advice on any question as to whether a proposed law is or is not repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.
  • For the first time, the Constitution of Pakistan gave definition of a Muslim which states: 'Muslim' means a person who believes in the unity and oneness of Allah
    Allah
    Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

    , in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood
    Prophethood
    Prophethood is the word used to reference the institution by which God sends emissaries, or prophets, to guide mankind. Use of the word is almost always theological.-Islam:...

     of the Islamic prophet
    Prophets of Islam
    Muslims identify the Prophets of Islam as those humans chosen by God and given revelation to deliver to mankind. Muslims believe that every prophet was given a belief to worship God and their respective followers believed it as well...

    , Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

    , and does not believe in, or recognise as a prophet or religious reformer, any person who claimed or claims to be a prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after Muhammad.
  • The state shall endeavor to strengthen the bonds of unity among Muslim countries.
  • The Second Amendment
    Constitutional amendment
    A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

     (wef 17 September 1974) of the 1973 Constitution declared for the first time the Ahmadiyya Community (derogatorily known as Qadianis) or the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement for the Propagation of Islam (Lahoris) as non-Muslims, and their leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
    Mirza Ghulam Ahmad
    Mīrzā Ghulām Aḥmad was a religious figure from India and the founder of the Ahmadiyya Community. He claimed to be the Mujaddid of the 14th Islamic century, the promised Messiah , and the Mahdi awaited by the Muslims in the end days...

    , who claimed to be prophet of God, to which mainstream Muslims do not agree with.

Comparison with previous constitutions


With regard to provincial rights the 1973 constitution was in fact the most centralised of Pakistan's various constitutions. The Government of India Act of 1935, which Pakistan adopted as its first working constitution, granted the federal government 96 items of power. The 1956 constitution reduced that number to 49, and this was retained in the 1962 constitution. In 1973, however, it was then enlarged to 114.

Preamble



See also


  • Politics of Pakistan
    Politics of Pakistan
    Politics of Pakistan have taken place in the framework of a federal republic, where the system of government has at times been parliamentary, presidential, or semi-presidential. In the current parliamentary system, the President of Pakistan is the largely ceremonial head of state, the Prime...

  • History of Pakistan
    History of Pakistan
    The 1st known inhabitants of the modern-day Pakistan region are believed to have been the Soanian , who settled in the Soan Valley and Riwat almost 2 million years ago. Over the next several thousand years, the region would develop into various civilizations like Mehrgarh and the Indus Valley...

  • Constitutional economics
    Constitutional economics
    Constitutional economics is a research program in economics and constitutionalism that has been described as extending beyond the definition of 'the economic analysis of constitutional law' in explaining the choice "of alternative sets of legal-institutional-constitutional rules that constrain the...

  • Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism
    Constitutionalism has a variety of meanings. Most generally, it is "a complex of ideas, attitudes, and patterns of behavior elaborating the principle that the authority of government derives from and is limited by a body of fundamental law"....


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