Constitutional And Political History of Pakistan

Constitutional And Political History of Pakistan

Constitutional And Political

History of Pakistan


Third Edition

Hamid Khan


Constitutional History of Pakistan

The constitutional history of Pakistan is a complex and dynamic journey that has seen several changes, amendments, and struggles since the country's creation in 1947. Here's an overview of the major milestones in Pakistan's constitutional history:


The Government of India Act, 1935: Before the creation of Pakistan, the subcontinent was governed by the British colonial authorities. The Government of India Act, 1935, was a significant piece of legislation that introduced the concept of federalism and provincial autonomy. It established separate electorates for Muslims and other minorities, laying the groundwork for future demands for a separate Muslim state.


The Lahore Resolution, 1940: On March 23, 1940, the All-India Muslim League adopted the Lahore Resolution, which called for the creation of independent states for Muslims in areas where they were in a majority. This resolution is considered a pivotal moment in the movement for the creation of Pakistan.


Independence and the Objective Resolution, 1947: Pakistan gained independence from British rule on August 14, 1947. The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan passed the Objective Resolution in 1949, which laid down the guiding principles for the future constitution. It affirmed the sovereignty of Allah and the democratic principles of Islam.


The First Constitution (1956): Pakistan's first constitution was adopted in 1956. It established Pakistan as an Islamic Republic and provided for a parliamentary form of government. However, the constitution faced criticism for not adequately addressing the rights of religious and linguistic minorities.


Ayub Khan's Rule and the Second Constitution (1962): In 1958, General Ayub Khan seized power in a military coup. He abrogated the 1956 constitution and introduced a new constitution in 1962, establishing a presidential system with limited parliamentary oversight. This constitution was short-lived and faced opposition, leading to its eventual downfall in 1969.


The 1970 Elections and the 1973 Constitution: The 1970 general elections in Pakistan led to the victory of the Awami League in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in West Pakistan. This resulted in a political crisis and ultimately the military intervention by General Yahya Khan. The crisis culminated in the secession of East Pakistan and the creation of Bangladesh in 1971.


After this, the 1973 Constitution was adopted, which remains the current constitution of Pakistan. It established a parliamentary system of government, providing for a President as the ceremonial head of state and a Prime Minister as the head of government. The constitution also recognized the principles of democracy, federalism, and Islam as the state religion.


Zia-ul-Haq's Era and Constitutional Amendments: General Zia-ul-Haq seized power in 1977 and ruled until his death in 1988. His regime introduced significant amendments to the 1973 Constitution, including the controversial Eighth Amendment, which concentrated powers in the office of the President and allowed dismissal of governments.


Post-Zia Period and Democratic Struggles: Following Zia's death, Pakistan experienced periods of democratic rule interspersed with military interventions. Political instability, constitutional amendments, and power struggles continued to shape the country's constitutional landscape.


The 18th Amendment (2010): A major development in Pakistan's constitutional history was the passage of the 18th Amendment in 2010. This amendment aimed to restore parliamentary supremacy, enhance provincial autonomy, and limit the powers of the President. It also devolved more administrative and financial authority to the provinces.


Subsequent Developments: In recent years, Pakistan has seen debates and discussions about constitutional reforms, electoral reforms, and issues related to the balance of power between various state institutions. Judicial activism and the role of the military in politics have also been recurring themes.


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Constitutional And Political History of Pakistan


Constitutional And Political History of Pakistan

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