Table of Contents
Article 2(A) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan was inserted by the Revival of the Constitution of 1973 Order, 1985, after General Zia-ul-Haq overthrew the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo in a military coup.
Article 2(A) States
2(A). The Objectives Resolution to form part of substantive provisions.
The principles and provisions set out in the Objectives Resolution reproduced in the Annex are hereby made substantive part of the Constitution and shall have effect accordingly.
The Objectives Resolution was an official declaration issued by Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly on March 12, 1949 that laid out its fundamental principles and objectives. Based on Islamic teachings, this declaration declared Pakistan to be a sovereign, democratic Islamic republic.
Article 2(A) establishes the Objectives Resolution as an integral component of the Constitution, giving its principles and provisions legal force alongside all of the other provisions. Therefore, any laws or government actions found violating its principles can be brought before courts for review, with potentially disastrous outcomes.
Article 2(A) was controversial when introduced into the Constitution and remains so today. Some argue it is necessary for maintaining Pakistan as an Islamic state while others feel it gives too much power to the judiciary and interferes too much with legislative and executive branches of government.
Why was Article 2(A) added?
Article 2(A) was added to the Constitution by General Zia-ul-Haq following his military coup that overthrew Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo’s government. Zia-ul-Haq, an Islamist dictator with goals of creating an increasingly Islamic Pakistan, believed that Objective Resolution was best way to reach his objectives.
Zia-ul-Haq also believed that Article 2(A) would give him and the judiciary more power to control the government. He argued that Article 2(A) would allow the courts to strike down any laws or government actions they found to violate the Objectives Resolution.
Crux of Article 2(A) of Constitution of Pakistan
Article 2(A) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan is a controversial amendment that makes the Objectives Resolution a substantive part of the Constitution. General Zia-ul-Haq added the amendment after he overthrew the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo in a military coup. Zia-ul-Haq was an Islamist dictator who sought to transform Pakistan into an increasingly Islamic state. To reach his goal, he believed the Objectives Resolution was the best way; Article 2(A) would grant more control to him and judiciary over the government.
Some have criticized Article 2(A) as undemocratic and giving too much power to the judiciary, while others claim that Article 2(A) must remain intact to guarantee Pakistan remains an Islamic state. Read more about the constitution of Pakistan