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The 1973 constitution of Pakistan was adopted on April 12, 1973.

This constitution fully represents the ideology and

democratic aspiration of the people of Pakistan and constitution is the supreme law of the land and it is considered as
an instrument by which a Government can be run. It replaces the basic laws of the state. it decides the attributes of
the government and provincial Govt. in constitution is federal cum parliamentary in its characteristics. The constitution
of Pakistan is based on principle of tracheotomy of power. It is a social contract which binds people, society and a
state to act within the framework of the constitution.

Sources of Constitution of Pakistan 1973

The sources of constitution of Pakistan 1973 are as follows;
Act of 1935
Objective resolution
Constitution of 1956
Interim constitution of 1972

Salient Features of Constitution of Pakistan 1973

Following are the salient features of the constitution of Pakistan 1973

Written Constitution
Constitution of Pakistan 1973 is a written constitution. It comprises of 280 Articles. It also contains 6 schedules, which
has been divided into 12 parts.

Rigid Constitution
The constitution of Pakistan 1973 is rigid because amendment procedure is not easy. This constitution provides that
2/3 majority of votes of members National Assembly and Senate, and assent of President of Pakistan are necessary
for its amendment.

State Religion
The constitution of Pakistan 1973 announces that Islam would be state religion.

National Language and Official Language

In accordance with Article 251 of the present constitution Urdu has been declared as National Language of Pakistan
but the official language is English.

Federal Form of Government

Constitution of Pakistan 1973 provide federal form of government consisting of four provinces of the central government
of Pakistan.

Parliamentary form of Government

Parliamentary form of government has been provided for the government in the constitution.

Direct Elections
Constitution of Pakistan 1973 has provided method of direct elections to elect members of National Assembly and
Provincial Assembly.

Bi-Cameral Legislature
The Federal Legislature is bi-cameral consisting two houses. Senate (upper house) and National Assembly (lower

Preamble means an introductory part of statue; it is not the part of the constitution. It is stated in it than sovereignty
over entire universe belongs to Almighty Allah.

Holding of Referendum
The president of Pakistan is authorized to order for holding a referendum on any issue of national importance.

Single citizenship
The constitution of Pakistan 1973 provides single citizenship.
Independence of Judiciary
An Independent Judiciary has been provided in 1973 constitution. Judiciary safeguards the fundamental rights of the
people of Pakistan.

Rights of Minorities
Rights of Minorities have been protected in the 1973 constitution.

High Treason
The abrogation of the constitution through unconstitutional means is high treason. It cannot be abrogated by the use of

Final Analysis
To conclude that the 1973 constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a democratic state, parliamentary with
bicameral legislature in its nature. It is the constitution of elected people. All major political parties of Pakistan
unanimously accepted it. Minorities also have safeguard and fundamental rights in such constitution.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: ) , also known as
the 1973 Constitution is the supreme law of Pakistan.[1] Drafted by the government of Zulfiqar Ali
Bhutto, with additional assistance from the country's opposition parties, it was approved by
the Parliament on 10 April and ratified on 14 August 1973.[2]
The Constitution is intended to guide Pakistan's law and its political culture, and system. It identifies
the state (its physical existence and its borders), people and their fundamental rights, state's
constitutional law and orders, and also the constitutional structure and establishment of the
institutions and the country's armed forces.[3] The first three chapters establish the rules, mandate,
and separate powers of the three branches of the government: a bicameral legislature; an executive
branch governed by the Prime Minister as chief executive; and an apex federal judiciary headed
by Supreme Court.[3] The Constitution designates the President of Pakistan as a ceremonial Head of
State who is to represent the unity of the state.[4] The first six articles of the constitution outline
the political system as federal parliamentary republic system; as well as Islam as its state
religion.[5] The Constitution also encapsulates provisions stipulating the legal system's compliance
with Islamic injunctions contained in the Quran and Sunnah.[6]
The Parliament cannot make any laws which may be repugnant or contrary to the Constitution,
however the Constitution itself may be amended by a two-thirds majority in both the houses of the
bicameral Parliament, unlike the previous legal documents of 1956 and 1962.[7] It has
been amended over time, and most recent impulses for political upgrades and reforms has been
amended. Although enforced in 1973, Pakistan, however, celebrates the adoption of the constitution
on 23 Marchwhen the first set was promulgated in 1956each and every year as Republic Day.[8]

Pakistan was founded in 1947. Before writing a constitution, a Constituent Assembly passed
the Objectives Resolution, on the insistence of the ulama and Jamaat-e-Islami, in March 1949 to
define the basic directive principles of the new state and to declare state recognition of the
sovereignty of Allah over the universe. The Objectives Resolution affirmed the role of democracy
and contained religious provisions to enable society to adhere to the teachings of the Quran and
Sunnah. The Objectives Resolution has henceforth been inserted as a preamble into each of
Pakistan's subsequent constitutions.[9]
The country's first constitution was approved in 1956 but abrogated in 1958 after a military Coup
d'tat.[10] Pakistan's second constitution was approved in 1962. It granted executive power to the
president and abolished the office of the prime minister. It also institutionalised the intervention of
military in politics by providing that for twenty years, the president or the defence minister must be a
person who had held a rank not lower than that of lieutenant-general in the army.[11] The 1962
constitution was suspended in 1969 and abrogated in 1972.[10]
The 1973 constitution was the first in Pakistan to be framed by elected representatives. Unlike the
1962 constitution it gave Pakistan a parliamentary democracy with executive power concentrated in
the office of the prime minister, and the formal head of statethe presidentlimited to acting on the
advice of the prime minister.[11]
The Constitution states that all laws are to conform with the injunctions of Islam as laid down in
the Quran and Sunnah.[6] The 1973 Constitution also created certain institutions such as the Shariat
Court and the Council of Islamic Ideology to channel the interpretation and application of Islam.[12]
After another coup in 1977, the constitution was held in abeyance until it was "restored" in 1985 but
with an amendment (the Eighth) shifting power from the parliament and Prime Minister to the
president. Another Amendment (Seventeenth) in 2004 continued this shift, but in 2010,
the Eighteenth amendment reduced presidential powers, returning the government to
a parliamentary republic.
Previous legislation as Source[edit]
Main article: Pakistan Movement
The successful movement led the establishment of Pakistan, independent from British India in 1947.
The British Empire divided British India into two, India and Pakistan.
The provisions of the Government of India Act, 1935, had greatly influenced the state and served its
legal document until 1956. In 1950, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan author the first annexe that
would paved a path in drafting of the Constitution. Elected in 1947, the first Constituent
Assembly drafted and adopted its first constitution in 1956.
1956 Constitution[edit]
Main article: Constitution of Pakistan of 1956
Following the adoption of a constitution in India in 1950, Pakistan's lawmakers were incentified to
work on their constitution. Prime Minister Muhammad Ali and his government officials worked with
the opposition parties in the country to formulate a constitution for Pakistan.[13]
Finally, the joint work led to the promulgation of the first set of the constitution on 23 March 1956a
day when Pakistan celebrates its Republic Day over the adoption of the constitution. The constitution
provided for parliamentary form of government with a unicameral legislature.[13] It officially adopted
Pakistan as "Islamic Republic" and the principle of parity was introduced. Its features were:

Islamic Republic of Pakistan[13] Official name of the country was adopted

Objectives Resolution The objective resolution was included as preamble by the constitution.
System of government Parliamentary with a prime minister as head of government.
Unicameral Legislature A single house, only a National Assembly that would consist of 300
members; 150 members from each East and West Pakistan
President Required to be a Muslim and ceremonial head of state. In case of internal or
external danger he could declare a state of emergency in the country.
Islamic law No law would be passed against the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.
Independent Judiciary The Supreme Court as an apex court a final arbitrator of all the
Fundamental rights included freedoms of movement, speech and, profession and profess
religion, right to life, liberty, and property.
Language English, Urdu and Bengali were made national languages.
By the constitution, Iskander Mirza assumed the presidency but his constant involvement in national
affairs, as opposed to Constitution, dismissed four elected prime ministers in two years. Under public
pressure, Mirza upheld the coup d'tat in 1958, thus virtually suspending the constitution. Shortly
afterwards General Ayub Khan deposed Mirza and declared himself president.[14]
1962 Constitution[edit]
Main article: Constitution of Pakistan of 1962

General Ayub Khan appointed a Constitution Commission to draft another part of the constitution
under Chief Justice Muhammad Shahabuddin.[15] Submitted its considerations on 6 May 1961, Ayub
Khan altered the entire version of the constitution which was entirely different from the one
recommended by Chief Justice Muhammad Shahabuddin.[15] It was promulgated on 8 June 1962.
Main feature of this set was the introduction of the Presidential system and more consolidated
powers to the President. No further changes were carried out to oppose the 1956 document.[15] Its
features includes:

More powers to President of Pakistan.[15]

Strengthen of the Islamic Ideology council.[16][17]
The military government and President Yahya himself made no efforts to frame a constitution, aside
from issuing the extrajudicial order in 1970.[17] Across the country, the expectations were that
a National Assembly would be set up by holding a free and fair election. To hold the proposed
elections, President Yahya 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.[17]
In December 1970, nation-wide general elections were held simultaneously for both the national and
five provincial assemblies.[17] The polling results turned were simply disastrous from the standpoint of
national unity and demonstrated the failure of national integration.[17] No party enjoyed the
full confidence of the people of Pakistan.[17] The nationalist Awami League (AL) secured the mandate
of East Pakistan but failed to perform in any four provinces of Pakistan.[17] The socialist Pakistan
People's Party (PPP) under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gained mandate
in Punjab and Sind but failed in East Pakistan, NWFP and Balochistan.[17] The general elections truly
reflected the ugly political reality: the PPP's mandate in Pakistan and AL mandate in East
1970 constitutional crises[edit]
Constitutional crises grew further when AL refused to make concessions over its six points to draft
the constitution and instead maintaining that AL had was quiet competent to frame a constitution and
to form a central government on its own.[17]
The PPP was not willing to dilute the authority of the federal government in spite of assuring full
provincial autonomy for all the provinces of Pakistan.[17] Negotiations on framing the work on
constitution were held between January and March 1971 between leaders of PPP, AL, and
the military government of Yahya Khan, which turned out to be a failure.[17] Under the LFO, the
President Yahya was to decide when the National Assembly was to meet.[17] By 13 February 1971,
the President Yahya announced that the National Assembly was to meet at Dhaka on 3 March 1971.
By this time the differences between the main parties to the conflict had already crystallized.[17] Over
the six-point issue, the PPP was convinced that a federation based on six-point would lead to a
feeble confederation in name only and was part of larger Indian plan to break up the Pakistan.[17] On
14 January, President Yahya announced Mujibur Rahman as the Prime Minister of Pakistan which
prompted Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to boycott the National Assembly on 15 February. Talking to the news
media, Mujibur Rahman strongly asserted that "Our stand is absolutely clear. The constitution will be
framed on the basis of the six-points"'.[17]
Such announcement led the PPP to demand the removal of the National Assembly session or
opening session to be postponed.[17] The PPP threatened to stage a large scale general strike in all
over the country. Under pressured by PPP, President Yahya postponed the National
Assembly session on 25 March which came as a shattering disillusionment to the AL and their
supporters throughout East Pakistan.[17] It was seen as a betrayal and as proof of the authorities of
the Pakistan to deny them the fruits of their electoral victory.[17] This resulted in the outbreak of
violence in East Pakistan. The Awami League launched a non-co-operation movement as they
virtually controlled the entire province.[17] Due to disturbances in East Pakistan, no National
Assembly session was called and the military moved in East Pakistan to control the
situation.[17] The civil disobedience movement turned into armed liberation movement backed by
the India.
With India successfully intervening in the conflict, the Pakistan military surrender to the Indian
military and almost over ~93,000 military personnel were taken as prisoners of war on 16 December
1971.[17] Demoralized, gaining notoriety in the country, and finding himself unable to control the
situation, President Yahya ultimately handed over the national power to PPP, of which, Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto was sworn in on 20 December 1971 as President and as the (first civilian) Chief Martial Law
Constitutional convention[edit]
After Pakistan surrendered to India and Bangladesh was formed in 1971, the PPP formed the
government and partially enacted the 1962 constitution.[18] President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto called for a
constitutional convention and invited the leaders of the all political parties to meet him on 17 April
1972.[18] Leaders and constitutional experts of the Islamic
political parties, conservative parties, socialists and communist parties were delegated to attend the
constitutional convention in 1972.[19]

Drafting and ratification[edit]

The law experts, constitutional analysts, and country's reputed Enlightenment and Rule of law
clergymen worked on formulating the constitution that represents
the will and desire of people.[20] Unlike earlier attempts, the
convention was not meant for new laws or piecemeal alterations,
but for the "sole and express purpose of revising the 1956
articles."[20] Also, the convention was not limited to the
religion, exigencies of government and the preservation of the State;
rather it was intended to maintain delicacy in commerce, finances,
issue of loans to federation, and Separation of powers.[20] Several
key ideas of the philosophy of John Locke and Islamic provisions on
civil rights were interchanged in the Constitution.[21][22] John Locke
Two Treatises of Government
The Constitution ultimately established the "Bicameral
life, liberty and property
Parliament" National Assembly as Lower
house and Senate as Upper house. It also established the parliamentary form of

government with Prime Minister as its head of government; the elected National Assembly genuinely
representing the will of the people.[20] The Constitution truly maintained a delicate balance
between traditionalists and modernists and reflected heavy compromises on fundamental religious
rights in the country.[20] The fundamental rights, freedoms
of speech, religion, press, movement, association, thought, and intellectual, life, liberty and
property and right to bear arms were introduced in the new Constitution.[19] Islam was declared as the
State religion of Pakistan.[19] Geography and border statue of the country was redefined and
"Pakistan was to be a Federation of Four Provinces."[19] The Constitution was written in the point of
representing the conservative Islam as well as reflecting a heavy compromise over the religious
rights and humanism ideas, advocated by the extremist leftists of the PPP.[20]
On 20 October 1972, the draft was revived by all leaders of the political parties and signed the
declaration of adopting the Constitution in the National Assembly on 2 February 1973.[23]Ratified
unanimously on 19 April 1973, the Constitution came into full effect on 14 August 1973.[23] On the
same day, the successful vote of confidence movement in the Parliament endorsed Zulfikar
Bhutto as the elected Prime Minister after latter relinquishing the presidency after appointing Fazal-i-
Ilahi to that stint.[23]

Fundamental rights[edit]
Contrary to 1956 and 1962 articles, several ideas in the Constitution were new, and guaranteed
security of the each citizens of Pakistan. First part of the Constitution introduce the definition
of State, the idea of life, liberty and property, individual equality, prohibition of slavery, preservation
of languages, right to fair trial, and provided safeguard as to arrest and detention as well as
providing safeguards against discrimination in services.[24][25]
The due process clause of the Constitution was partly based on the British Common law, as
many founding fathers of the country and the legal experts had follow the British legal
tradition.[26] The fundamental rights are supreme in the Constitution and any law that is ultra vires the
fundamental rights can be struck down by the apex courts in their constitutional jurisdiction vested
on them under Article 199 of the Constitution.[27]

In contrast to the constitutions of India and Bangladesh, the Constitution reflected a heavy
compromise over several issues to maintain a delicate balance of power among the country's
institutions. The Constitution defined the role of Islam;[28] Pakistan was to be a Federation of Four
Provinces and shall be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan;[29] introduction of check and
balances, separation of powers, and provided the federal system under which the government
should governed.
The Constitution established a "Bicameral Parliament" as a legislative authority that consists of
the Senate as Upper house (providing equal provincial representation), and National
Assembly as Lower house (providing the will and representation of people).[30][31] The Constitution put
stipulation on the eligibility of becoming President and Prime Minister that only "Muslim" of not less
than forty-five years of age[32] and is qualified for becoming the Prime Minister.[33] No law repugnant to
Islam shall be enacted and the present laws shall also be Islamised.[34] The Constitution also
introduced a new institution known as the "Council of Common Interests" consisting of Chief
Minister of each four provinces and an equal number of Cabinet ministers of
the Government nominated by the Prime Minister.[35] 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 innovative introduction in the Constitution is the establishment of the National Finance
Commission (NFC) consisting of the Provincial and Finance Ministers and other members to advice
on distribution of revenues between the federation and the provinces.[36] The Constitution's first parts
introduce the Islamic way of life, promotion of local government, 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 Constitution, the Fundamental Rights include security of person, safeguards as to arrest
and detention, prohibition of slavery and forced labour, freedom of movement, freedom of
association, freedom of speech, freedom to profess religion and safeguards to religious institutions,
non-discrimination in respect of access to public places and in service, preservation of languages,
script and culture. The judiciary enjoys full supremacy over the other organs of the state. About
national languages, Urdu was declared as national languages, and English as official language; all
other languages were preserved by the Constitution.[37]
Islamic introduction[edit]
Many key ideas on regarding the role of Islam in the State that were mentioned in 1956 Articles were
made part of the Constitution:

The official name "Islamic Republic of Pakistan" as selected for the state of Pakistan.
Islam is declared as the state religion of Pakistan.
Enabling of living life, culture, and customs of Muslims, individually or collectively, in accordance
with the fundamental principles and basic concepts of Islam.
Teachings on Arabic, Qur'an, and Islamiyat to be compulsory in country's institutions and to
secure correct and exact printing and publishing of the Qur'an.
Proper organisations of Zakat, Waqf, and mosques is ensured.
Prevent prostitution, gambling and consumption of alcohol, printing, publication, circulation,
pornography, and display of obscene literature and advertisements.
Required to be a Muslim to run for bid of becoming the President (male or female) and/or 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.[38]
A Council of Islamic Ideology shall be constituted referred to as the Islamic advisory council.[39]
The Constitution of Pakistan defined a Muslim as a person who believes in the unity and
oneness of Allah, in the absolute and unqualified finality of the Prophethood of the Islamic
prophet, Muhammad, 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.
In keeping with this definition, the Second Amendment to the Constitution (1974) declared for
the first time the Ahmadiyya Community and/or the Lahori Group as non-Muslims, since their
leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, claimed to be prophet of God as per hadith or sayings of Prophet
However, the Fourth Amendment (1975) set aside six seats in the National Assembly for non-
Muslim representatives to protect minority rights.
The state shall endeavour to strengthen the bonds of unity among Muslim countries.
Islamic revisions were introduced into the Pakistan Penal Code.
The Constitution of 1973

After taking control of the government in 1971. Z.A. Bhutto started work on a democratic
constitution for the country. On 17th April 1972 the National Assembly constituted a
committee to prepare a draft constitution. The Committee worked hard and prepared the
draft of the constitution which was presented to the leaders of all parliamentary leaders on
20th October 1972. All the leaders signed the draft. After that it was discussed and debated
n the National Assembly which gave its approval on 10th April 1973. The President gave his
assent on 12th April 1973. Finally the Senate approved the constitution in August 1973.
Consequently the constitution was enforced in the country on 14th August 1973. According
to the Constitution of 1973 Mr. Z.A. Bhutto look over as the tenth Prime Minister and Mr.
Fazl-e-Elahi was sworn in as the President of Pakistan.

Salient Features of 1973 Constitution

The Constitution of 1973 is strikingly different from the earlier Constitution of 1956 and
1962. It has the following salient features.

1. Written Constitution
Like the previous constitutions of 1956 and 1962 the Constitution of 1973 is a written
document. It is very comprehensive and consists of twelve parts consisting of 280 articles.

2. Introductory and the Objectives Resolution

It commences with an introductory which slates the Islam shall be state religion. The
principles and provisions set out in the Objectives Resolution have been made substantive
part of the constitution.

3. Islamic System
The inclusion of Islamic Provisions has given the 1973 Constitution an unprecedented
Islamic character. It ensures an Islamic system in the country.

4. Rigid Constitution
It is a rigid constitution. No Government can change it at will. It is not easy to make
amendments in it. Two-third majority of both the Houses is required for this purpose.

5. Federal System
The Constitution of 1973 has introduced a Federal system in the country. The federation of
Pakistan consists of a Central Government and four Provincial Governments. The Federal
Government is headed by a President elected by members of Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)

6. Parliamentary form of Government

The 1973 Constitution proposes a Parliamentary form of Government in the country. Prime
minister is the head of the Parliamentary system. He is leader of the Majlis-e-Shoora
(Parliamentary). He is elected on direct adult franchise basis. The Prime Minister selects a
cabinet of central ministers from the members of Parliament which conducts the affairs of
the country. According to 1973 Constitution the Prime Minister enjoys wide powers.

7. Bicameral Legislature
The Constitution provides for the establishment of a bicameral legislature in Pakistan. The
Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) consists of two Houses named Senate and National Assembly.
The Senate or the Upper House consists of 63 members (the 8th Amendment has raised this
number to 87). The National Assembly consists of 200 members (Now this number has been
raised to 207). The Majlis-e-Shoora enjoys wide powers of legislature.

8. Direct Method of Election

The Constitution of 1973 gives a direct method of election. The members of the National
Assembly, the Provincial Assemblies are directly elected by the people.

9. Fundamental Rights
The 1973 Constitution ensures the following fundamental rights to the citizens of Pakistan.
Security of person
Safeguard against unlawful arrest and detention
Prohibition of slavery and forced labor
Freedom of movement
Freedom of assembly
Freedom of association
Freedom of business
Freedom of speech
Freedom of profess religion
Right to hold property
Equality before law
Right to preserve language, script and culture
Safeguard against discrimination in services.

10. Principles of Policy

The Constitution of 1973 has set the following principles of policy:
Local electoral bodies will be set up for solving local problems.
The parochial and other prejudices shall be discouraged.
The women shall be given full representation in all spheres of national life.
Social justice shall be promoted.
Bonds with Muslim world shall be strenghened.

11. Independence of Judiciary

The Constitution of 1973 stresses upon the establishment of an independent judiciary. Full
job security has been provided. The judges are appointed by the President. They cannot be
removed from service before the end of their term except on the recommendation of the
Supreme Judicial Council. In addition the Judges are paid respectable salaries.

12. National Language

The 1973 Constitution has declared Urdu as the national language of Pakistan. However
English has been retained as the official language for 15 years. Similarly regional languages
have been provided full protection.

13. Single Citizenship

The Constitution of 1973 has established the principles of single citizenship. According to
this principle the rights and duties of the citizens are determined by the Federal Constitution
only. Thus the people throughout Pakistan are citizens of Pakistan.
14. Rule of Law
The 1973 Constitution establishes rule of law in Pakistan. According to rule of law no person
can be deprived of his fundamental rights. All the citizens of Pakistan are equal before law.

15. High Treason

According to the Constitution of 1973 the act of unconstitutional abrogation of the
Constitution has been declared as an act of High Treason.

16. Referendum
The Constitution of 1973 has authorized the President to hold Referendum on any national
issue. Similarly the Prime Minister can ask the President to hold referendum on any
important national issue