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Overview of Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan, approved in 1973, serves as the legal basis of its governance and policies. Among its provisions, Article 29 outlines the “Principles of Policy.” These principles serve as guiding values and goals for the state, governing its actions, and inspiring its policies. In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of Article 29, understand its key points, and explore the crux of its significance in Pakistan’s governance framework.
Article 29 States
Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan reads as follows:
29. Principles of Policy
- The Principles set out in this Chapter shall be known as the Principles of Policy, and it is the responsibility of each organ and authority of the State, and of each person performing functions on behalf of an organ or authority of the State, to act in accordance with those Principles in so far as they relate to the functions of the organ or authority.
- In so far as the observance of any particular Principle of Policy may be dependent upon resources being available for the purpose, the Principle shall be regarded as being subject to the availability of resources.
- In respect of each year, the President in relation to the affairs of the Federation, and the Governor of each Province in relation to the affairs of his Province, shall cause to be prepared and laid before the [each House of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] or, as the case may be, the Provincial Assembly, a report on the observance and implementation of the Principles of Policy, and provision shall be made in the rules of procedure of the National Assembly [and the Senate] or, as the case may be, the Provincial Assembly, for discussion on such report.
These principles, as highlighted in Article 29, set the tone for Pakistan’s governance framework.
Key Points of Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Principles of Policy: This article establishes “Principles of Policy,” making them obligatory on every organ and authority of the State as well as individuals acting on their behalf to adhere to them when conducting actions on behalf of these bodies or authorities. This underlines their significance in guiding state action.
Resource Dependence: This article acknowledges that compliance with these principles may depend on available resources; while their full implementation remains aspirational, its full realization might depend on whether sufficient funds exist for their full implementation.
Reporting Mechanism: One key aspect of Article 29 is its reporting mechanism. According to this clause, President and Governors of provinces are both required to prepare an annual report on how well the Principles of Policy have been observed and implemented within their respective provinces, with this report then presented for discussion by legislative bodies.
Crux of Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan
The crux of Article 29 lies in the establishment of the “Principles of Policy” as foundational values and goals for Pakistan’s governance. These principles are designed to guide the actions of the state and its various organs, authorities, and individuals performing state functions. This article emphasizes:
Guiding Values: The Principles of Policy are not mere words but guiding values that are meant to inspire policies and actions of the state. They reflect Pakistan’s vision for a just, equitable, and prosperous society.
Resource Consideration: While the principles are aspirational, they recognize the practicalities of resource availability. This means that the state must prioritize its actions based on available resources while striving to achieve the stated goals.
Accountability and Reporting: The requirement for an annual report on the observance and implementation of the Principles of Policy ensures accountability. This reporting mechanism allows for transparency and public discussion on the state’s commitment to these principles.
Conclusion: Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan
In conclusion, Article 29 of the Constitution of Pakistan lays the foundation for the Principles of Policy that guide the state’s actions and policies. It underscores the importance of these guiding values in shaping a just, equitable, and prosperous society. While recognizing the need to consider available resources, Article 29 ensures transparency and accountability through annual reporting and discussion. These principles are not just words on paper but a reflection of Pakistan’s aspirations for a brighter future.