Structure of the Constitution of 1956 of Pakistan
I. Parts Constitution of Pakistan 1956
(1) Chapter One on “The Republic and Its Territories,” detailing definition and territorial boundaries; (2) Chapter Two’s Declaration as an Islamic Republic, declaring Pakistan an Islamic state.
B. Part II: Fundamental Rights and Principles of Policy
- Chapter 3 – Guaranteeing Fundamental Rights to Pakistanis Protection of Individual Liberties and Freedoms
- Chapter 4 – Priniciples of Policy
Directives for the state to establish and promote social justice through welfare state policies
C. Part II: The Federal Government
Chapter 5: The President
Powers, Election and Term of Office for President. Role of the President as Head of State and Executive Authority
- Chapter 6: The Federal Legislature
- Composition and Functions of the National Assembly and Senate
, Legislative Powers and Procedures.
D. Part IV: Provincial Governments
- Chapter 7: Governor and Provincial Legislature mes Appointment, Powers, Responsibilities of a Governor
Composition and Functions of the Provincial Assembly mes
- Chapter 8: Provincial Autonomy Devolve of powers and autonomy to provinces.
E. Part V: Relations Between the Federation and Provinces
- Chapter 9: Distribution of Legislative Powers
The distribution of legislative powers amongst federal and provincial governments.
- Chapter 10: Financial Relations Between the Federation and Provinces
- Allocation of financial resources and responsibilities.
F. Part VI: The Judiciary.
Chapter 11: The Supreme Court Structure, jurisdiction and powers of the Supreme Court
Chapter 12: High Courts
The establishment and functions of High Court
Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 Passed by the constituent assembly of Pakistan on the 29th February ,1956 and assented to by the governor general Constitution of Pakistan 1956 was the first written constitution of Pakistan. It established Pakistan as an Islamic Republic and provided a framework for governance, fundamental rights, and the structure of the government. However, this constitution was abrogated in 1958 following a military coup.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 included 234 articles and 6 schedules, but no amendments could be made as it was abrogated in 1958 before any alterations could take place. Subsequent constitutions (such as 1962, 1973 and 1985 ) all had unique articles and amendments tailored specifically for them.
Pakistan’s Constituent Assembly was first convened to draft and adopt its first constitution, which eventually took effect in constitution of Pakistan 1956. Comprised of elected representatives from across Pakistan (both East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan), which eventually became officially adopted into law.Constitution of Pakistan 1956
The exact composition of the first Constituent Assembly would change over time due to political events and changes in electoral procedures; initially, however, it comprised 79 members elected through indirect elections held from 1947-1948.
The initial Constituent Assembly consisted of representatives from different political parties, such as the All India Muslim League, Indian National Congress and other regional parties. Members were elected by their constituents and given the responsibility of writing Pakistan’s new constitution.
Notable members of Pakistan’s first Constituent Assembly included Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who became its inaugural Governor-General, Liaquat Ali Khan – its inaugural Prime Minister, as well as other notable leaders from different regions and communities.
The Republic and its Territories
Definition and territorial boundaries of the Republic of Pakistan
Definition of Pakistan: Pakistan is an independent and sovereign country located in South Asia that attained independence from British colonial rule on August 14, 1947. Its official name is the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Lastly, its territorial boundaries encompass an area totaling 4,093,940 sq mi or 270,000 km2.
Pakistan shares borders with several countries, which define its territorial boundaries. On its eastern border with India lies Jammu and Kashmir’s Line of Control (LoC), demarcated by an armistice line along which Pakistan shares territory.
Pakistan shares its western border with Afghanistan, marked by the Durand Line. To the northwestern is Iran and to its northeast is China via Karakoram Highway.
Pakistan boasts a coastal region on both the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean in the southern portion, providing access to these waters. Provincial and Territorial Divisions:
Pakistan consists of four provinces and two federally administered territories: Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), and Balochistan. Furthermore, two federally administered territories exist: Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan are regions with special autonomy that await final resolution of the Kashmir conflict to determine their final status.
Each province and territory is further subdivided into administrative units such as districts, tehsils and union councils to ensure effective governance and administrationn .Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Pakistan claims an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Arabian Sea that extends up to 200 nautical miles from its coastline, giving Pakistan exclusive rights over exploring and exploiting marine resources within this zone.
Declaration of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 Declares It as an Islamic Republic: Whilst not explicitly written into its founding document, Islam plays a central role in Pakistani governance and legal systems.
“Islamic Republic” refers to a state where Islam serves as its state religion and serves as a guideline in shaping its laws, policies, and institutions. Here’s more information: Introducing Islamic Law As The State Religion.
The Constitution recognizes Islam as the official religion of Pakistan. As such, the state is charged with upholding and protecting Islam’s teachings and values; laws and policies should conform to Islamic principles as well .Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Constitution Including Islamic Provisions
The Constitution incorporates various Islamic provisions that reflect the religious identity of the country, covering matters related to personal law, family matters, inheritance issues and religious practices.
Islamic principles provide guidance in legislating and interpreting laws pertaining to family affairs and personal matters of Muslims .Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Protection of Religious Minorities
Islam is the state religion; however, the Constitution protects religious freedom for minority communities and non-Muslim citizens have the right to practice their own faiths and observe any personal laws that pertain to them .Constitution of Pakistan 1956
The Constitution protects religious minorities by guaranteeing their rights and prohibiting discrimination based on their religion. Council of Islamic Ideology (CII):
The Constitution establishes the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) as an advisory body on matters concerning compatibility of laws with Islamic principles and implementation of Islamic teachings into society.Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Appointment Constitution of Pakistan 1956
The Governor is appointed by the President of Pakistan. Each Province (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan) have their own Governor who acts as representative for President on provincial levels. Executive Powers: Constitution of Pakistan 1956
The Governor serves as ceremonial head of their province and represents provincial government. She or he may exercise various executive functions on behalf of President.
These include the approval of provincial ordinances, assent to bills passed by the provincial assembly, and appointment of key provincial officials. Legislative Powers:
The Governor plays an active role in provincial legislative processes.
The Governor summons and prorogues the provincial assembly. Additionally, at the start of each session he or she gives an address highlighting government policy and legislative priorities.
Judetean Assembly Dissolution:
Under certain conditions, the Governor has the power to dissolve a provincial assembly. He or she can do so if law and order fail in the province, its functions cannot function efficiently or when there has been a vote of no confidence in its leader – these situations usually call for dissolving provincial assemblies immediately.
The Governor is charged with upholding the Constitution of Pakistan 1956 within their province. They serve as an additional safeguard against potential constitutional breaches by making sure actions and legislation comply with it.Constitution of Pakistan 1956
The Governor can withhold assent from bills that violate either constitution or national interests, and has the power to withhold their approval if deemed unconstitutional or contrary to their interests of either province or nation. Attractively Ceremonial Role: The Governor plays an iconic and symbolic ceremonial role.
As well as constitutional and executive responsibilities, the Governor also fulfills ceremonial responsibilities. For formal occasions and state events, they represent their provincial government on formal occasions by welcoming dignitaries or participating in state functions as the representative for formal receptions or receiving dignitaries.
When was the Constitution of Pakistan in 1956 adopted?
The Constitution of Pakistan in 1956 was adopted on March 23, 1956.
Who was the head of state and head of government under the 1956 Constitution?
Under the 1956 Constitution, the head of state was the President, and the head of government was the Prime Minister.
What happened to the Constitution of Pakistan in 1956?
The Constitution of Pakistan in 1956 was abrogated in 1958 following a military coup led by General Ayub Khan, and martial law was imposed in the country.
Parliament and Legislative Structure Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 established a bicameral legislature with two houses of representative government: National Assembly was made up of all citizens while Senate represented provinces.
The National Assembly was the lower house of Pakistani parliament and represented its people directly through elections held by citizens themselves. As the primary parliamentary body charged with making laws, approving federal budgets, and overseeing executive branch operations, its primary responsibility lay with making laws and overseeing executive decisions.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 the National Assembly was part of its legislative structure but had different composition and powers than subsequent constitutions.
Composition: The National Assembly was comprised of 300 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), elected directly by citizens across Pakistan through direct balloting. Seats within this institution were distributed based on population in each province.
Speaker of the National Assembly: The National Assembly elected from its membership a Speaker who presided over sessions, maintained order, and ensured proper conduct of parliamentary proceedings.
Powers and Responsibilities of the National Assembly: The National Assembly was responsible for creating new laws through legislative powers; initiating, discussing and passing bills as they came up for discussion or approval in its chambers. Furthermore, the assembly had oversight powers to review executive branch actions taken against citizens.
Cabinet Formation: The Prime Minister was the head of government appointed by the President, and created his or her cabinet with ministers responsible for specific government departments and functions appointed by President upon advice of Prime Minister. Cabinet Members: Once appointed by Prime Minister as members of Cabinet by President.
Relationship with the President: As set out in Pakistan’s constitution, the President had certain powers and responsibilities. For example, they appointed both Prime Minister and cabinet members, and could dissolve National Assembly under certain conditions.
The Senate was Pakistan’s upper house of parliament and represented all provinces of Pakistan. Members were elected by members of provincial assemblies. It provided a forum for regional representation as well as reviewing laws proposed by the National Assembly.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 the Senate was composed of members elected by Provincial Assemblies through indirect elections; each province had equal representation regardless of population size. Members of Provincial Assemblies participated in these indirect elections to elect senators; their number in each province being decided by law
senators elected under this system served for six years with retirement staggered so that one-third of members retired every two years, helping ensure continuity within its operations and prevent an all-out turnover of members at once.
the Senate played an essential part in the legislative process. It reviewed and proposed amendments to bills passed by the National Assembly as a check and balance on their legislative process, providing another layer of scrutiny before their acceptance into law. Furthermore, its involvement was critical in electing both President and Prime Minister.
Importantly, its specific composition, powers and functioning may have been further defined or revised after the 1956 Constitution was adopted. Subsequent constitutions – like 1962 and 1973 constitutions – also provided for establishment of Senate elections and representation mechanisms.
Speaker of the National Assembly
Elected by members of the National Assembly, the Speaker presided over sessions while maintaining order and overseeing compliance with parliamentary procedures. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
According to the Constitution of Pakistan 1956 the Speaker of the National Assembly was elected by the members of the National Assembly itself. The Speaker held a crucial position in the functioning of the legislative body and was responsible for presiding over the sessions, maintaining order, and ensuring that parliamentary procedures were followed.
The Speaker of the National Assembly had several important responsibilities, including:
Presiding over the Sessions: The Speaker chaired the sessions of the National Assembly, ensuring that debates and discussions took place in an orderly manner.
Maintaining Order: The Speaker maintained discipline and order during the sessions, ensuring that members followed parliamentary rules and regulations. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Interpretation of Rules: The Speaker had the authority to interpret the rules of procedure and make rulings on points of order raised by the members.
Deciding on Points of Order: The Speaker made decisions on points of order raised by the members, determining their validity and relevance to the ongoing proceedings.
Casting Vote: In case of a tie on any matter being voted upon, the Speaker had a casting vote to break the tie and make a final decision.
Representation: The Speaker represented the National Assembly in its relations with other authorities and represented the interests of the legislative body.
Nature of the State: The nature of a state refers to its fundamental characteristics, principles and ideals that guide its foundation and operation. Pakistan has seen its state evolve over time due to various influences such as its history, politics and constitutional frameworks.
Pakistan is fundamentally an Islamic Republic, meaning Islam serves as the state religion and plays an integral role in both legal and political systems of the nation. The preamble to the 1956 Constitution stated this fact clearly; subsequent constitutions including 1973 Constitution have upheld this Islamic character of Pakistani society. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Pakistan is governed according to democratic principles that promote constitutionalism and federalism. Citizens have power vested in them through elections and participation in politics; its Constitution also provides for separation of powers between executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government ensuring checks and balances.
Federalism is another essential characteristic of Pakistani statecraft. The country comprises four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan), as well as federally administered territories; each province possesses legislative and executive authorities while certain matters of national importance such as defense and foreign affairs are handled at a federal level.
Pakistan’s state structure upholds principles of equality, justice, and protection of fundamental rights. The Constitution guarantees certain fundamental rights to its citizens such as free speech and religion; equality before law; welfare services for its people, and protection of fundamental rights are provided by state authorities.
Prime Minister served as head of government and was charged with leading executive branch operations, formulating policies and overseeing administration in their country.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956, the Prime Minister served as head of government and held executive powers.
Appointment: The President of Pakistan appointed their Prime Minister with full discretion over which member of the National Assembly they chose, according to their assessment of who held majority trust from fellow National Assembly members. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Head of Government: The Prime Minister was the leader of their nation and oversaw government operations. Their duties included formulating policies, making executive decisions and overseeing administration of their nation.
Cabinet Formation: The Prime Minister was authorized to form a cabinet composed of ministers responsible for various government departments and functions. Members of this Cabinet would then be appointed by President upon advice of Prime Minister.
Relationship with the National Assembly: As a member of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister was held accountable to and must maintain support from most of its members. Policies and actions taken by them would also be scrutinized by this legislative body.
Legislative Functions: The Prime Minister was an integral component in the legislative process. They could introduce bills before the National Assembly, take part in debates and work towards passing laws.
Executive Powers: The Prime Minister exercised executive powers, such as implementing laws, overseeing government departments, and carrying out administrative functions.
the specific powers and functions of the Prime Minister could have been further defined through National Assembly rules or any applicable legislation, while his role and responsibilities could have changed with subsequent constitutions or amendments adopted post-1956 Constitution.
The Prime Minister assembled a cabinet consisting of ministers responsible for various government departments and functions. Members were appointed by President upon advice from Prime Minister.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 the Prime Minister had the authority to form a cabinet.
Formation: The Prime Minister, as the head of government, had the power to select and appoint ministers to form the cabinet. The selection of cabinet members was based on the Prime Minister’s discretion, taking into consideration various factors such as competence, expertise, and political considerations.
Ministerial Portfolios: The Prime Minister assigned specific ministerial portfolios to the cabinet members. Each minister was responsible for a specific government department or function. The cabinet members were appointed by the President upon the advice of the Prime Minister. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Roles and Responsibilities: Cabinet members were responsible for the formulation and implementation of policies related to their respective ministries. They played a key role in decision-making, policy development, and the execution of government functions.
Collective Decision-making: The cabinet operated on the principle of collective decision-making. Important policy matters, legislative proposals, and other significant issues were discussed and decided upon collectively by the cabinet members. The Prime Minister presided over these meetings.
Administrative Oversight: The cabinet had oversight over the functioning of government departments. It ensured the proper execution of policies, coordinated inter-ministerial activities, and monitored the performance of government institutions. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Parliament and Cabinet Relationship: Cabinet members, including the Prime Minister, were accountable to the National Assembly. They had to answer questions, participate in debates, and provide explanations regarding the policies and actions of their respective ministries.
Provincial Assemblies: Constitution of Pakistan 1956 each province in Pakistan was to establish provincial assemblies with legislative power within their region and to make laws regarding subjects within their domain. Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 the Provincial Assemblies were established as legislative bodies at the provincial level. Here are some key points regarding the Provincial Assemblies:
Composition: The Provincial Assemblies consisted of elected representatives from each province in Pakistan. The number of seats allocated to each province was based on its population.
Election: Members of the Provincial Assemblies, known as Members of the Provincial Assembly (MPAs), were elected through a direct vote by the citizens of their respective provinces. Elections were held on the basis of adult suffrage.
Legislative Powers: The Provincial Assemblies had the authority to make laws on subjects within their jurisdiction. They could propose, discuss, and pass legislation pertaining to matters that fell under provincial responsibility as outlined in the constitution.
Provincial Autonomy: The Provincial Assemblies played a crucial role in maintaining the autonomy of the provinces. They had the power to legislate on matters related to their respective provinces, which included areas such as education, healthcare, local government, agriculture, and infrastructure development.
Chief Minister: The head of the Provincial Government, known as the Chief Minister, was elected by the members of the Provincial Assembly. The Chief Minister, along with the cabinet, was responsible for the executive functions of the province.
Oversight: The Provincial Assemblies had the power to scrutinize the actions of the provincial government, including the Chief Minister and the cabinet. They could question government policies, initiate discussions, and seek accountability from the executive branch.
Representation: The Provincial Assemblies represented the interests and concerns of the respective provinces. They provided a platform for elected representatives to voice the issues and needs of their constituencies and work towards their resolution.
The President was the head of state, elected by an Electoral College comprising members of both the National Assembly and provincial assemblies. Their role was mostly ceremonial as executive powers were typically held by Prime Minister who served as government head.
Election of President: The President is elected through an electoral college composed of members from the Senate, National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies. Voting takes place through an indirect voting process.
Head of State: Pakistan’s President serves as an international symbol for unity and represents Pakistan in international affairs. Their role, however, is mainly ceremonial as executive power is allocated through Prime Ministers and Council of Ministers.
Executive Powers: The President holds various executive functions, such as the appointment of Prime Ministers, Chief Justices of Pakistan and other high-ranking officials. Furthermore, when Parliament is not in session he or she promulgates ordinances.
Legislative Role: The President plays an essential part in the legislative process. Bills passed by Parliament require his assent before they can become law, while he can also address joint sessions of parliament to outline government policies and priorities.
Diplomatic Activities: As Pakistan’s highest representative on diplomatic issues, the President serves as its main representative in international diplomatic affairs. They receive ambassadors from other nations as guests of honor and hold ceremonial functions to foster international diplomacy.
Immunity: While in office, Presidents enjoy immunity from legal proceedings that arise out of actions they undertake as part of their official duties. This immunity does not extend to actions outside these obligations.
Islamic Provisions: Constitution of Pakistan 1956 included safeguards to protect religious minorities’ rights as well as designating Islam as the state religion, but did not specify in detail how Islamic law (Sharia) would be implemented.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 guaranteed fundamental rights to its citizens, such as equal protection before the law, freedom of speech, religion and expression, protection against discrimination as well as safeguards against arrest or detention without due process.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 included, like subsequent constitutions, a chapter on Fundamental Rights to ensure citizens enjoyed basic freedoms and liberties. While specific rights and their scope may have changed since 1956, here are some fundamental rights recognized under that document:
Equality Before the Law: All citizens were assured equal treatment under the law and protected equally against discrimination based on race, religion, caste, sex or place of birth. Any form of discrimination including but not limited to racism was illegal and all forms of racism prohibited.
Freedom of Expression: Citizens enjoyed the right to free speech, expression and the press. This allowed for them to voice their opinions freely while publishing newspapers as well as engaging in peaceful assembly or association activities.
Freedom of Religion: Citizens had the right to freely profess, practice and propagate their religion without interference from government authorities. Additionally, religious minorities would be protected against retaliatory measures from any such authorities.
Protection of Life and Liberty: The constitution recognizes a person’s right to life, liberty, and personal security. No one may be denied their lives or liberties except as authorized by law.
Protection Against Arbitrary Arrest: The Constitution provided protection for its citizens against arbitrary arrest and detention, safeguards against unlawful imprisonment and guarantees to inform of reasons of arrest.
Every citizen had the right to a fair trial, including being heard, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and legal representation.
Protection of Property Rights: The Constitution safeguarded our right to own, acquire and dispose of property freely. No one’s possession could be taken from them except under legal authority.
Freedom of Movement: Citizens were free to move about freely throughout Pakistan, with only reasonable limitations imposed by law limiting their movements and residencies.
Protection of Privacy: The constitution recognizes a person’s right to privacy and their home being inviolable; no unlawful attempt could be made at invading someone’s privacy.
Right to Education: The Constitution of Pakistan 1956 recognizes children’s right to free and compulsory primary education and emphasizes state responsibility in providing this service to every student.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 created a federal system of government, in which power was shared between central government and provinces, while giving significant autonomy to individual provinces as autonomous units within federation.
Provincial autonomy refers to the level of self-governance and decision-making authority granted to provinces within a country. Pakistan has historically placed great emphasis on provincial autonomy as part of their constitutional and political framework.
Provincial autonomy stems from the principle of federalism, which recognizes both central and provincial governments’ rights and powers. Pakistan is a federal country consisting of four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan), each having their own powers and responsibilities outlined within its Constitution – particularly 1973 Constitution of Pakistan which provides for provincial autonomy with regards to powers and responsibilities delineation by provincial legislatures.
The 1973 Constitution grants provinces extensive autonomy in various domains, such as legislative, administrative and financial affairs. Provinces can legislate on subjects assigned them under the Constitution’s legislative list; additionally they each have their own Provincial Assemblies which enact laws and regulations specific to their province.
Provincial governments are accountable for various administrative functions within their jurisdictions, such as education, healthcare, agriculture, local governance and police protection. They possess the power to establish and manage institutions related to these sectors.
Financial autonomy is another essential aspect of provincial autonomy. Provinces possess the authority to levy and collect taxes, generate revenue, manage their finances to meet expenditures and development needs. The National Finance Commission (NFC) distributes financial resources between the federal government and provinces equitably ensuring equitable allocation.
Provincial autonomy acknowledges and accommodates for the diverse needs, interests and aspirations of different regions within Pakistan. It seeks to empower provinces while encouraging decentralization allowing them to address local issues while prioritizing regional development.
Official Language of Pakistan:
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 both English and Urdu were declared as official languages of the country. Constitution of Pakistan 1956 recognized historical and cultural significance of both languages in different parts of the country and aimed to ensure that both languages were used for official purposes at national level.
English served as principal official language for legislative, administrative, and legal matters, as well as for communication with the federal government and international affairs. It was widely used in official documents, legislation, court proceedings, and government communication.
Urdu, on other hand, was designated as national language of Pakistan in Constitution of Pakistan 1956. It held cultural and symbolic importance, representing linguistic heritage and identity of the people of Pakistan. Urdu was encouraged for use in national symbols, education, media, and cultural activities.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 recognized the linguistic diversity of the country, and provisions were made to promote the development and use of regional languages as well. Regional languages, such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, and others, were acknowledged and protected as significant elements of the national heritage and cultural identity.
The constitution established a Supreme Court as the highest judicial authority, while providing for High Courts in each province.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 provided for the establishment of a judicial system that ensured the administration of justice and safeguarded the rights of the citizens. Here are some key points regarding the judicial system under the Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Supreme Court: Supreme Court of Pakistan was established as the highest judicial authority in the country. It had appellate jurisdiction over civil, criminal, and constitutional matters. The Supreme Court consisted of a Chief Justice and other judges appointed by the President.
High Courts: High Courts were established at the provincial level. Each province had its own High Court, which had appellate and original jurisdiction over various legal matters within its territorial jurisdiction.
District Courts: District Courts were established at the district level. These courts had original jurisdiction over civil and criminal cases within their respective districts. They were presided over by judges appointed by the High Courts.
Judicial Independence: The judiciary was intended to be independent and impartial. Judges were appointed based on their qualifications and expertise, and their tenure was protected to ensure their independence from external influences.
Judicial Review: The judiciary had the power of judicial review. It could examine the constitutionality of laws and actions of the executive and legislative branches of the government. If a law or action was found to be inconsistent with the constitution, it could be declared null and void.
Protection of Fundamental Rights: The judiciary played a vital role in protecting and enforcing fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution. It had the power to hear cases related to the violation of fundamental rights and to provide remedies and redress to the aggrieved parties.
Access to Justice: The judicial system aimed to provide access to justice for all citizens. It ensured that individuals had the right to legal representation, the right to a fair trial, and the right to appeal against court decisions.
Judicial Service: The constitution provided for the establishment of a separate judicial service to recruit and train qualified individuals to serve as judges at various levels of the judiciary.
Amendments of Constitution of Pakistan 1956
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 could be altered through two-thirds majorities in both houses of parliament and must then be approved by the President.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 underwent numerous amendments throughout its lifespan; however, its abrogation following a military coup resulted in new constitutions being introduced instead. Some significant amendments made prior to its abrogation include:
First Amendment: In 1958, the initial Amendment to the 1956 Constitution was made and included provisions governing Governor appointments who had previously been elected, and altered the method used to elect Presidents.
Second Amendment: Enacted in 1958, this Amendment granted President Roosevelt the ability to temporarily suspend fundamental rights during an emergency situation and also altered provisions related to his authority and functioning as President.
Third Amendment: Adopted in 1962, this Amendment introduced changes to the composition and electoral system of both the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies. Furthermore, it altered how Presidents were elected as well as creating Basic Democracies as new political systems.
Fourth Amendment: Implemented in 1963, this amendment established the One Unit scheme which combined all provinces in West Pakistan into one administrative unit.
Fifth Amendment: Passed in 1965, the Fifth Amendment changed electoral practices and composition of National and Provincial Assemblies as well as provisions related to President’s powers and term of National Assembly membership.
State policy refers to the guiding principles, objectives, and priorities that a government sets to direct the actions and decision-making processes of a state. It outlines the goals and strategies to be pursued in various areas of governance, including social, economic, political, and security aspects. State policy provides a framework for the government’s actions and serves as a roadmap for achieving the desired outcomes and addressing the needs of the country and its citizens.
Economic Policy: This includes policies related to economic development, fiscal management, investment promotion, trade and commerce, poverty alleviation, and employment generation.
Social Policy: These policies aim to improve social welfare, human development, education, healthcare, housing, social security, and the overall quality of life for the citizens.
Political Policy: This involves policies related to governance, democracy, electoral reforms, decentralization, political participation, and strengthening democratic institutions.
Security Policy: This covers policies related to national security, defense, counterterrorism, law and order, border management, and the protection of citizens and infrastructure.
Foreign Policy: This includes policies related to international relations, diplomacy, regional cooperation, trade agreements, and promoting Pakistan’s interests on the global stage.
Environmental Policy: These policies focus on environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and sustainable development.
Constitution of Pakistan 1956 elections were held to select members for the National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and local bodies.
National Assembly Elections: Constitution of Pakistan 1956 National Assembly served as the lower house of Parliament. Members were chosen through direct elections based on adult suffrage with each constituency having at least 21 eligible voters who could cast their ballot.
Provincial Assembly Elections: Elections were conducted to elect members of Provincial Assemblies. Each province had their own Provincial Assembly and members were chosen through direct elections held within each constituency within each province; citizens aged 21 or over were eligible to cast a vote.
Local Body Elections: Constitution of Pakistan 1956 established local bodies at the district, municipal, and rural levels; elections were then conducted to select representatives for these bodies, enabling citizens to actively engage in local governance and decision-making processes.