Muslims of India had, since the middle of nineteen century, begun
the struggle for a separate homeland on the basis of the two
Nation theory. The
British rulers realized that the Hindus and Muslims of India
remained two separate and distinct nations and socio-cultural
entities. The British rulers were left with no option but to
eventually accept the demand of the Muslims of India.
3rd June1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of
India, called the conference of all the leaders of the
Sub-continent and communicated to them his Government's Plan for
the transfer of power. At
that time, a notification was issued in the Gazette of India,
published on 26th July 1947 in which the first
Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was given shape with 69 Members
(later on the membership was increased to 79), including one
State of Pakistan was created under the Independence Act of 1947.
The Act made the existing Constituent Assemblies, the
dominion legislatures. These Assemblies were allowed to exercise
all the powers which were formerly exercised by the Central
Legislature, in addition to the powers regarding the framing of a
new Constitution, prior to which all territories were to be
governed in accordance with the Government of India Act, 1935.
first session of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was
10th August 1947
at Sindh Assembly Building Karachi.
11th August 1947
Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah was elected unanimously as the
President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan and the National
Flag was formally approved by the Assembly.
12th August 1947
, a resolution was approved regarding officially addressing Mr.
Muhammad Ali Jinnah as "Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali
Jinnah". On the
same day, a special committee called the "Committee on
Fundamental Rights of Citizens and Minorities of Pakistan"
was appointed to look into and advise the Assembly on matters
relating to fundamental rights of the citizens, particularly the
minorities, with the aim to legislate on these issues
14th August 1947
, the Transfer of Power took place.
Lord Mountbatten, Governor General of
, addressed the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan.
The Quaid gave a reply to the address in the House, on
which the principles of the State of Pakistan were laid.
15th August 1947
, Quaid-i-Azam was sworn in as the first Governor General of
. Mian Sir Abdur
Rashid, Chief Justice of Pakistan, administered oath of office
from him. The Quaid
remained in this position till his death i.e.11th
foremost task before the first Constituent Assembly is of framing
the Constitution for the nation.
7th March 1949
, the Objectives Resolution, which now serves as the grund norm
, was introduced by the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawabzada
Liaquat Ali Khan, and later adopted by the Constituent Assembly on
12th March 1949
. On the same day, a Basic Principles Committee comprising of 24
Members was formed to prepare a draft Constitution on the basis of
the Objectives Resolution. On
16th October 1951
, Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, mover of the
Objective Resolution, was assassinated and Khawaja Nazimuddin took
over as the Prime Minister on
17th October 1951
final draft of the Constitution was prepared in 1954.
By that time, Muhammad Ali Bogra had taken over as the
Prime Minister. However,
just before the draft could be placed in the House for approval,
the Assembly was dissolved by the then Governor General Ghulam
Muhammad on 24th October1954. The Prime Minister was,
however, not dismissed and was asked to run the administration,
with a reconstituted Cabinet, until such time as the elections
Tamizuddin, President of the Assembly, challenged the dissolution
Sindh Chief Court
, and won the case. The Government in return, went to the Federal
Court, where the famous judgment was given by the then Chief
Justice Muhammad Munir, according to which Maulvi Tamizuddin lost
second Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was created on
28th May 1955
under Governor General's Order No.12 of 1955.
The Electoral College for this Assembly was the Provincial
Assemblies of respective Provinces.
The strength of this Assembly was 80 Members, half each
. One of the major
decisions taken by this Assembly was the establishment of
(One Unit), with the aim to create parity between the two wings
). This Assembly also
achieved its target by giving the first Constitution to the nation
i.e. the Constitution of Pakistan 1956. Choudhary Muhammad Ali was
the Prime Minister at that time.
The draft of this Constitution was introduced in the
9th January 1956
and was passed by the Assembly on
29th February 1956
. The assent was
given on it by the Governor General on
2nd March 1956
. This Constitution
was enforced with effect from
23rd March 1956
. Under this
became an Islamic Republic, hence 23rd March became our
Republic day. It was
the same day in 1940 that the historic Pakistan Resolution was
5th March 1956
, Major General Sikandar Mirza became the first elected President
of Pakistan. The 1956
constitution provides for Parliamentary form of government with
all the executive powers in the hands of Prime Minister. President
was Head of the State and was to be elected by all Members of the
National and Provincial Assemblies. He was to hold office for 5
years. The President was to act on the advice of Prime Minister,
except where he was empowered to act in his discretion.
1956 Constitution, Parliament was unicameral.
Legislative powers vested in the Parliament, which
consisted of the President and the National Assembly comprising
300 Members divided equally between East and
. In addition to
these 300 seats, five seats were reserved for women for each of
the two wings, for a period of ten years: thus bringing the total
membership of the House to 310.
in the absence of any law to control the Political Parties and the
problem of floor crossing, political instability perpetually
ensued. Although the
first general election were scheduled for early 1959, President
Sikandar Mirza abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the National
and Provincial Assemblies, and declared Martial Law, on
7th October 1958
. He appointed General Muhammad Ayub Khan, Commander-in-Chief of
the Army, as the Chief Martial Law Administrator.
27th October 1958
General Muhammad Ayub Khan took-over as a second President of
. One of the first
major steps taken by General Ayub Khan was the appointment of a
Constitution Commission on
17th February 1960
. The objective of this commission was to submit proposals, as to
how best democracy can be strengthened and molded according to the
country’s socio-political environment and Islamic principles of
justice. The Commission submitted its report to the government on
29th April 1961
. On the basis of this report a new Constitution was framed and
given to the nation on
1st March 1962
elections under the new Constitution were held on
28th March 1962
and elections to the special seats reserved for women were held on
29th May 1962
. The first session of the third National Assembly was held on
8th June 1962
at Ayub Hall,
Constitution of 1962 envisaged a
with Presidential form of government, with National Assembly at
the centre and the Provincial Assemblies in the Provinces.
The Legislatures, both at centre and in provinces were
Federal system had been curtailed by allowing the Provincial
Governors to be appointed directly by the President.
All executive authority of the
, under the Constitution, vested in the office of the President.
President appointed his Cabinet members who were directly
responsible to him.
electoral system was made indirect, and the `Basic Democrats', for
both wings were declared Electoral College for the purpose of
electing the Assemblies and the President.
Basic democrats were 80,000 in number (40,000 from each
East & West Pakistan). The total membership of the National
Assembly was 156, one half of whom were to be elected from
and other half from
, also three seats were reserved for women from each province. The
term of this Assembly was three years. The norm was established
that if the President was from
, the Speaker was to be from
and vice versa. One
of the major achievements of this Assembly was the passage of
Political Parities Act, 1962.
25th March 1969
the second Martial law was imposed and General Agha Muhammad Yahya
Khan took-over as the President of
and Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA).
He later issued a Legal Framework Order (LFO), under which
the first ever general elections were held on
7th December 1970
. This was the first Assembly elected on the adult franchise and
population basis. It consist of 313 members, 169 from
and 144 from
including 13 reserved seats for women (6 were from
and 7 from
). Soon after the elections, due to grave political differences,
20th December 1971
Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over as the President of Pakistan as
well as the first civil Chief Martial Law Administrator.
first session of the National Assembly, due to the delay caused by
the separation of East Pakistan, was held on 14thApril
1972 at the State Bank Building, Islamabad, in which all 144
Members from West Pakistan and two from former East Pakistan (Mr.
Noor-ul-Amin and Raja Tridev Roy who had chosen to join Pakistan)
17th April 1972
an Interim Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly,
which provided for a Presidential form of Government.
Under this Constitution, the National Assembly was not to
be dissolved earlier than
14th August 1973
. The Interim
Constitution dealt in detail with the distribution of powers
between the Centre and the Provinces.
Assembly also formed a Constitution Committee on
17th April 1972
to prepare the first draft for framing a Constitution.
The report of the Committee was presented with a draft
31st December 1972
. It was unanimously
passed by the Assembly in its session on
10th April 1973
and was authenticated by the President on
12th April 1973
. This Constitution,
called the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973,
was promulgated on
14th August 1973
. On the same day,
Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took oath as the Prime Minister, while Mr.
Fazal Illahi Choudhary took oath as the President of Pakistan.
1973 Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government
where the executive authority of the state vests with the Prime
Minister. The President, according to the Constitution, is at the
apex, representing the unity of the Republic.
1947 to 1973, the country had a unicameral system of legislature.
Under the 1973 Constitution,
adopted bicameral system at the centre, called “The
Parliament”, composing the President, the National Assembly and
The Senate. Originally, the general seats of the National Assembly
were 200 with additional 10 seats reserved for women, bringing the
total strength to 210. The newly created Upper House i.e. the
Senate had 63 members. Later in 1985 through a Presidential Order
(P.O. No. 14 of 1985), seven seats were added to the general seats
and ten to the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly.
Ten seats were exclusively reserved for minorities to be filled
through separate electorate system. Thus the total strength of the
lower house reached to 237 members. Similarly the strength of
Senate was also increased from 63 to 87.
the 1973 Constitution the National Assembly is elected for five
years term, unless sooner dissolved.
The seats in National Assembly, unlike the Senate, are
allocated to each province and other units of the federation, on
the basis of population. The
Constitutional provision of 20 special seats for women lapsed in
1990, thus decreased the Assembly strength from 237 to 217.
Under the Constitution, elections to the 10 seats reserved
for minority were held on separate electorate basis.
the tenure of the Assembly being five years, as prescribed in the
Constitution, Mr. Z.A.Bhutto, on 7th January 1977
announced the holding of elections before time.
Consequently, on 10th January 1977, he advised
the President to dissolve the National Assembly. Elections were
held on 7th March 1977.
The opposition charged the government with rigging the
elections to the National Assembly and thereafter boycotted the
Provincial Assemblies elections. Since the opposition had not
accepted the National Assembly elections result, they did not take
oath. This resulted in severe political crisis and Martial Law was
imposed by the then Army Chief, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, on 5th
24th December 1981, under Presidential Order (P.O.15 of
1981) a Federal Council (Majlis-e-Shoora) was constituted by the
President. Its members were nominated by the President.
The first session of this Council was held on 11th
January 1982. In this
way, limited and controlled political activities were resumed, as
a result of which general elections were later held for the
National and Provincial Assemblies on 25th February
1985, on non-party basis.
2nd March 1985, the revival of Constitution Order
(P.O.14 of 1985) was issued in which a large number of amendments
were made in the Constitution.
The first session of the National Assembly was held 20th
March 1985. Mr.
Muhammad Khan Junejo, was nominated as the Prime Minister of
Pakistan by the President (General Zia-ul-Haq).
He received vote of confidence on 24th March
November 1985, the 8th Constitutional Amendment was
adopted by the Parliament. Besides changes in other Articles in
the Constitution the significant Article 58(2)(b) was added,
according to which the President acquired discretionary powers to
dissolve the National Assembly.
On 29th May 1988 the Assembly was dissolved by
the President by using the power acquired under Article 58(2)(b).
General elections for the eighth National Assembly was held on 16th
November 1988. The first session was convened by the President on
30th November 1988. Mr. Miraj Khalid was elected as a
Speaker National Assembly on 3rd December 1988.
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was nominated as Prime Minister of
Pakistan and took the oath of the Office on 2nd
December 1988. The Assembly was dissolved by the President, Ghulam
Ishaq Khan under Article 58(2)(b) on 6th August 1990.
General elections for the ninth National Assembly was held on 24th
October 1990. The first session was held on 3rd November 1990. Mr.
Gohar Ayub Khan elected as Speaker National Assembly and he took
oath on 4th November 1990. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif
took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on 11th
November, 1993. The Assembly was dissolved by the then President,
Ghulam Ishaq Khan, under Article 58(2)(b) on 18th April
1993. The dissolution of the National Assembly was challenged in
the Supreme Court of Pakistan and after hearing the case the
Assembly was restored by the apex court on 26th May
1993. The Assembly was dissolved on the advice of the Prime
Minister on 18th July 1993.
elections for tenth National Assembly was held on 6th
October 1993. The first session was held on 15th
October 1993. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani took oath of the office of
the Speaker National Assembly on 17th October 1993.
Mohtarma Benizar Bhutto administered the oath as Prime Minister of
Pakistan on October 19th October 1993. The Assembly was
dissolved by the President Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari on 5th
elections for eleventh National Assembly was held on 3rd
February 1997. The first session was held on 15th
February 1997. Mr. Illahi Bukhsh Soomro took oath of the office of
the Speaker National Assembly on 16th February 1997.
Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan
and Leader of the House on 17th February 1997. The new
Assembly came into power with an overwhelming majority. The
Article 58(2)(b) was later on omitted from the Constitution vide
13th Amendment in the Constitution in April 1997.
may be pertinent to note at this point that while, ostensibly,
sixteen amendments have been made in the Constitution so far, the
ninth and the eleventh Constitutional Amendments were, however,
passed by the Senate alone and fifteenth by the National Assembly
alone, hence these amendments lapsed. The fourteenth Amendment in
the Constitution empowered a check on floor crossing of
of Army Staff General Pervaz Musharraf, who was also Chairman
Joint Staff Committee, took over the government from Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif and declared himself as Chief Executive
through a Proclamation of Emergency, on 12th October
1999. Through Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) issued on
October 14th 1999, he held the Constitution in
abeyance, suspended the Senate, National and Provincial
Assemblies, Chairman and Deputy Chairman Senate, Speaker, Deputy
Speaker National and Provincial Assemblies and dismissed the
Federal and Provincial governments. The President Mr. Muhammad
Rafiq Tarar was, however allowed to continue in his office. Under
PCO (order No. 6) 29th October 1999, (as amended by C.E.
Order No.5, 4th July 2001), the National Security
Council was established for the purpose to tender advice to the
Chief Executive (later on President), on matters relating to
Islamic ideology, national security, sovereignty, integrity and
solidarity of Pakistan so as to achieve the aims and objective as
enshrined in the Objectives Resolution 1949.
Zafar Ali Shah, MNA and Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Speaker National
Assembly, challenged the suspension orders in the Supreme Court.
The Court in its judgment on 12th May 2000 validated
the military takeover by giving three years time frame to the
government, starting from 12th October 1999. The Court
in its judgment asked the government to complete its agenda and
then hand over powers to the elected government. The court also
allowed the military government to bring necessary Constitutional
Amendments, provided that those should not change the basic
feature of Federal Parliamentary democracy, independence of
judiciary and Islamic provisions in the Constitution. The court
reserved the right of Judicial Review and power of validity of any
act or any action of the government, if challenged, in the light
of State necessity.
20th June 2001, through a notification (C.E. Order
No.1) the Chief Executive assumed the office of the President of
Pakistan under President's Succession Order, 2001. On the same
day, through another Order (C.E. Order No. 2, 2001), the President
converted the orders of suspension of legislative bodies and their
presiding officers, in to dissolution.
elections for twelfth National Assembly was held on 10th
obtained from the Pakistan Embassy~~