1956 Constitution Of Pakistan | Salient Features

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1956 Constitution Of Pakistan | Salient Features

After assuming charge as Prime Minister, Chaudhry Muhammad Ali along with his team worked day and night to formulate a constitution for Pakistan. His efforts led to the first constitution that was enforced in the country on March 23, 1956. Pakistan’s status as a dominion ended and the country was declared an Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Thereupon the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan became the interim National Assembly and Governor General Iskander Mirza was sworn in as the first President of Pakistan.

The Constitution of 1956 consisted of 234 articles, which were divided into 13 parts and 6 schedules. Other Features are as following:

Written Constitution

This is a written and lengthy document.

Flexible Constitution

The constitution could be amended through a process requiring the amendment to be passed by at least a two-thirds majority of the parliament.However the president had the right to veto the draft,which then could be overridden by simple parliamentary majority.

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The name of the country was adopted as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Objectives Resolution

The objective resolution was included as a preamble of the constitution.

Federal System

The constitution provides for a federal system in the country. Powers was divided between the centre and the provinces. The subjects were divided into three lists; The Federal List, The Provincial List, and the Concurrent List.

Unicameral Legislature

The legislature would consist of a single house. Both the wings of the country were given representation in the National Assembly. The National Assembly consisted of 300 members. 150 members were drawn from each wing.

Parliamentary System

A parliamentary system was adopted, according to it the president was the head of state and the Prime Minister the head of government.

The President

Required to be a Muslim of at least forty years of age. The tenure of his office was five years. In case of internal or external danger he could declare a state of emergency in the country. He was authorized to appoint the Governors, the Judges of the Supreme Court, Auditor General and the Advocate General.

The Prime Minister

He was to be the leader of the Parliamentary group and was thus indirectly elected by the people. He could choose his cabinet from the members of the National Assembly; the cabinet was answerable to the Assembly.

Provincial Autonomy

Curtailed in the constitution to a great extent.

Islamic Law

No law would be passed against the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.

Free Judiciary

An independent judiciary in the country. A Supreme Court interpreted the constitution, advised the state whenever required, and decided the issues whenever required.

Fundamental Rights

Included freedom of movement, freedom of speech and expression, freedom to choose profession and freedom to profess religion. Right to life, liberty, and property.

Language

Urdu & Bengali

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