1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN

At the end of the lecture the students will be able to understand the:

  1. The constitutional provisions relating to the government structure
  2. Preamble of the Constitution (1973) of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  3. Territories of the State of Pakistan
  4. Constitutional bodies of decisions making
introduction to public administration  1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN

The Constitutional Framework of Government of Pakistan

Overview of 1973 Constitution

We will start with the Preamble of the Constitution. A Preamble is the ‘Preface’ or ‘introduction’ which tells us the main focus of the document. According to the Preamble the entire control of universe belongs to Allah. The constitution reads as follows:

Preamble

“Whereas Sovereignty over the entire universe belongs to Allah alone, and the authority to be exercised by the people of Pakistan within limits prescribed by Him is a sacred trust;…….”

The Republic of Pakistan

The Constitution explains Republic as:

“Pakistan shall be a Federal Republic to be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” Federal Republic means that the country has provinces and these together constitute the federation. Besides we call ourselves Islamic Republic, because we are ideological state, as the basis of independence of this country was Islam.

The Territories

According to the Constitution the territories of the state are:

a.The Province of Balochistan, the North-West Frontier, the Punjab and Sindh

b.The Islamabad Capital territory, Hereinafter referred to as the Federal Capital.

c.The Federally Administered Tribal Areas; and

d.Such states and territories as are or may be included in Pakistan, whether by accession or otherwise.

So there are 4 Provinces, the capital territory and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and section (d) above sees the inclusion of Kashmir in Pakistan as and when the decision about it takes place.

State Religion

Article 2 of the Constitution provide for the Islam as the State Religion: “Islam shall be the State Religion of Pakistan”.

Definition of the State

Article 7 of the Constitution gives definition of the state which is as follows: “State means the Federal Government, Parliament, a Provincial Government, a Provincial Assembly, and such Local or other Authorities in Pakistan as are by Law empowered to impose any Tax”

So the state comprises of all Governments i.e. Federal, Provincial and the Assemblies and the local or other authorities. It means it comprise of all these institutions which are permanent.

What does Government Comprise?

It is appropriate to differentiable between government and state. But is must be stated that the two are used interchangeably. We have attempted to explain this term before. But now we relate to the explanation with the definition given in the Constitution. The basic difference is that state institutions are fixed but people who occupy the positions in the institutions may come and go, thus government will come after every 5 years through elections as given in the Constitution and go after five years. It means people have fixed period in which they work so Government (in generic) comprise:

  • Elected Representatives (Politicians: members of Political Parties)
  • Judiciary
  • Executive (career civil servants).

Now the government sector and private sector touch each other boundaries

Figure

introduction to public administration  1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN

Private Sector

Therefore, these influence each other.

The Federation of Pakistan

The Federation is the Unity of all the constituent units and article 41 of the constitution defines President as the symbol of unity. It says:

“There shall be President of Pakistan who shall be the Head of State and shall represent the unity of State.”

The Parliament

Article 50 of the Constitution explains the Parliament. It states:

There shall be a Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament) of Pakistan consisting of the President and two houses to be known respectively as

  1. The National Assembly
    1. The Senate
The National Assembly

Article 51 explains that:

“The National Assembly shall consist of three hundred and thirty two Muslim Members to be elected by direct and free vote in accordance with Law.”

Besides there shall be 10 non Muslim members and the total members in National Assembly shall be 342. The National Assembly is also called the ‘Lower House’. The table below shows the provincial distribution of seats:

Table Seats in the National Assembly

General seats Women Total
Balochistan 14 3 17
The NWFP 35 8 43
The Punjab 148 35 183
Sindh 61 14 75
The FATA 12 - 12
Capita 2 - 2
Total 272 60 332
Non- Muslims 10 -
The Senate

The Senate is ‘Upper House’ and according to Article 59 (1) of the constitution: The Senate shall consist of one hundred members, of whom,

a.Fourteen shall be elected by members of each Provincial Assembly (56)

b.Eight shall be elected from FATA. (8)

c.Two on general seats, and one women and one technocrat…..(4)

d.Four women shall be elected by the members of each Provincial Assembly (16)

e.Four technocrats including ulema shall be elected by the members of each Provincial Assembly (16) The total of all the above seats comes to 100.

Federal Government

Article 90 of the Constitution provides for the exercise of executive authority by the President.

“The Executive Authority of the federation shall vest in the President and shall be exercised by him, either directly or through officers subordinate to him.”

The Cabinet

A cabinet according to the Constitution Article 91 (1) of the Constitution comprises of Ministers and the prime minister heads the Cabinet:

“There shall be a Cabinet of Ministers, with the Prime Minister as its head, to aid and advise the President in the exercise of his Functions.”

So, the Prime Minister is the functional head and he helps the President in fulfilling his duties.

Constitutional Bodies

There are other constitutional bodies which have the functions defined by the constitution. These are:

National Economic Council, National Finance Commission, The Supreme Court, High Court and Public Service Commission. These bodies regulate and make policy decisions which have long term impact.

National Economic Council (NEC)

Article 156 (1) of the constitution states that:

“The President shall constitute a National Economic Council consisting of Prime Minister, who shall be its Chairman, and such other members as the President may determine.”

2) NEC shall review the overall economic condition of the country and shall, formulate plans in respect of financial, commercial, social and economic policies.

Thus NEC is the highest body in the that it provides framework for the economic and financial and social policies. In this way it is an important body.

National Finance Commission (NFC)

Article 160 provides for the NFC:

“The President shall constitute a National Finance Commission consisting of the Minister of finance of Federal Government, Ministers of Finance of the Provincial Governments etc.”

The NFC is a body that decides every five years that from the taxes collected by the government, how much should be given to provinces and how much to the federal government. It also gives the criteria on the basis of which resources are allocated among provinces.

The Courts

Article 175 of the constitution provides:

“There shall be a Supreme Court of Pakistan, a High Court for each Province and such other courts as may be established by law.”

Article 176 provides for the Supreme Court:

The Supreme Court of Pakistan shall consist of a Chief Justice and so any other Judges as may be determined by Act of Majlis-e-Shoora or, as ay be fixed by the President.”

The High Court

Article 192 provides for the high court:

“A High Court shall consist of a Chief Justice and so many other Judges as may be determined by the law or, until so determined, as may be fixed by the President.”

Courts are bodies which interpret law i.e. give decisions on cases brought before the courts e.g. A case was brought before the Court by the affected party against legislation passed by the provincial assembly banning serving of food on marriage. The court after reviewing the case, up held the legislation.

Provisions of the Services

The Constitution Article 240 also provides for the service condition of the civil service:

The appointments to and the conditions of services of persons in the service of Pakistan shall be determined:-

a) In the case of the Services of the Federation, Posts in connection with the Affairs of the Federation and All-Pakistan services, by and under the act of Parliament, and b) In the case of the services of a Province and posts in connection with the affairs of the Province, by or under Act of the Provincial Assembly.”

The Act of parliament referred to in the above article is the Civil Service Act 1973.

Public Service Commission

The Public Service Commission, Article 242, gives provision of a body which is the recruiting agency for the Federal and Provincial Governments:

“Parliament in relation to the affairs of the Federation, and the Provincial Assembly of a Province in relation to affairs of a Province, may, by law, provide for the Establishment of a Public Service Commission.”

Conclusions

The Constitution provides the framework for the government. It gives provision of the bodies that will make policies for the government. In fact, if we look at all the provisions studied we will find that it gives the structure for the three branches of the government i.e. executive, legislative and judiciary. It also provides for bodies like NEC and NFC, both of which are important bodies for making decision of national significance.

Concepts
  • National Economic Council: This body makes financial, commercial, social and economic decisions for the country.
  • Federation: It is the unity of diverse constituent units. It is also the unity of the provinces and territories of a country.
  • Parliament: It is also called legislature. It comprises National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and the Senate.
  • National Finance Commission (NFC): NFC is constituted every five years. This body decides the criteria on which the resources will be distributed between the Federal Government and Provincial Government and amongst provinces.
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