Preston University Msc International Relations

Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan The Constitution of 1956
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The constitution of 1956
• Pakistan took nine years in framing it’s first constitution which became effective on 23 march, 1956. • It was based on the pattern of Government of India Act of 1935.It contained 234 Articles.13 parts and 6 schedules. • Reasons for it’s length: 1 Islamic character based on the provisions and principles of Islam. 2. Federal constitution described powers between center and provinces.
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The constitution of 1956
3. Details of relations between the Centre and Provinces. 4. Special Provisions for the tribal and special areas. 5. Organization of Federal and Provincial Judiciary. 6. Federal institutions-Federal Public Service Commission, Election Commission the languages of the Federation.
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The constitution of 1956
7. 8. Emergency Provisions. Fundamental Rights and
Directive Principles of State Policy.

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1956 const. Parliamentary Government
• The parliamentary form of government established at the centre and provinces. • Real executive authority vested in the cabinet headed by Prime Minister. • Responsibility of the cabinet to Parliament. • The President a titular head and on the advice of PM enjoying real authority Ministers to be appointed. Similar pattern- CM/Governor at the Provinces.
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1956 const. President ‘s Powers
• • • • • The president must be: A Muslim. A citizen of Pakistan. Not less than 40 years of age. Fulfills the qualifications of member of National Assembly. • Election by Electoral College consisting of National Assembly and provincial assemblies.
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1956 const. President
• The tenure of the office is five years but not more than two terms. • Removal by resignation or impeachment by the National Assembly by an absolute majority in case of violation of constitution or misconduct. • Not allowed to hold any office of profit under the government but private property.
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1956 const. President
• The Speaker of the National Assembly would assume the powers of the President in his absence. • The President to appoint from among the members of National Assembly a Prime Minister, Who enjoys the majority of the House and on his advice the Ministers. • The PM to communicate the decisions of Cabinet to the President as well as furnish any information as he might call for.
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1956 const. President
• The President makes key appointments: • Chief Justice and Judges of Supreme Court and High Courts, Attorney General; • Members of National Economic Council, National Finance Commission, Inter Provincial Council, Commission for bringing the existing laws into conformity with injunctions of Islam.

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1956 const. President
• Legislative Powers: • He summons, prorogues, dissolves the National Assembly. • He addresses the National Assembly and send messages to it. • The bill passed by the Assembly becomes law after his assent. He can hold his assent or return the bill for reconsideration by the Assembly • He is empowered to issue the ordinances when the Assembly not in session.
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1956 const Federation
• The Constitution(1956) embodied the characteristics of a Federation on the pattern of Government of India Act, 1935. • Written Constitution. • Dual Polity. • Distribution of Powers between Central and Provincial governments. • Supreme Court.

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1956 const Federation
• Distribution of Powers: • Powers were exhaustively enumerated in three lists-federal, provincial, concurrent. • The subjects given to the center included foreign affairs, defense, Currency, citizenship, foreign and inter- provincial trade and commerce, communications, minerals, oil and gas.
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1956,Const. Fedration
• The provincial list included the items such as; • Public order, administration of justice, police land, agriculture, local government, public health. • The important addition to the provincial list was control over railways. • The concurrent list included items like-civil and criminal law, scientific and industrial research, price control, economic and social planning .
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1956,Const. Federation
• Under the constitution the residuary powers were vested with the provincial legislatures which were to have exclusive power to make laws with respect to any matter not enumerated in the federal, provincial, or concurrent lists. • With regard to subjects in the concurrent list, the precedence of federal legislation was guaranteed.
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1956,Const. Federation
• The Supreme court was assigned an important role in the settlement of disputes between the federal government and one or both provincial governments, or between the two provincial governments. The Chief Justice to appoint a tribunal to settle such a dispute. The report of the tribunal was to be submitted to the chief justice who would forward to the President for his order to implement that.
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1956,Const. The Parliament

• The Parliament of Pakistan under the 1956 Constitution consisted of the President and one House.The National Assembly was to consist of 300 members half elected by constituencies in East and half by constituencies in West Pakistan. Ten additional seats were provided for women, five from East, and five from West Pakistan, for a period of ten years. Hence, the female citizens of Pakistan were granted double franchise for at least ten years. Parliament might alter the numbers of the members of the National Assembly provided that the parity of representation between East and West Pakistan was maintained.
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1956,Const. The Parliament

• A person was entitled to vote for the National Assembly (as well as the provincial assemblies) if he were a citizen of Pakistan, not less than 21 years of age, not declared by a court to be of unsound mind. • The candidate for election to the National Assembly was to be not less than 25 years of age and qualified to be a voter.
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1956,Const. The Parliament

• The National Assembly would choose the Speaker and Deputy Speaker from its own members.

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1956 Constitution The Judiciary
• Adequate provisions were made in the 1956 Constitution to ensure the independence of the judiciary so that ‘justice could be dispensed in Pakistan in a real and unpolluted form’. • The Supreme Court consisted of the Chief Justice and not more than six judges, a numbr that could, be raised by the parliament under the Act. The Chief Justice was to be appointed by the President and other judges were to be appointed by the President in consultation with the Chief Justice.
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1956 Constitution The Judiciary

• The Constitution provided for two High Courts, one for the province of East Pakistan, and the other for the province of West Pakistan. Each High Court was to consist of a Chief Justice and such number of other judges that the President might determine.

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1956 Constitution
• The description of the federal structure under the 1956 Constitution would not be complete without a reference to the emergency provisions that is provided for as they greatly affected relations between the centre and the provinces. • The type of emergency for which the 1956 Constitution made provisions related to the financial stability or credit of Pakistan.

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• There was no Bill of Rights under the interim Constitution. • The principal fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1956 Constitution: • Equality before the law and equal protection of life, liberty and property under law. • Freedom of religion, expression and no discrimination. • The untoucability declared unlawful.
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1956 CONSTITUTION Directive Principles of State Policy
• Discouragement of parochial, tribal, and racial feelings among Muslims. • Strengthening of the bonds of unity between Muslim countries. • Promotion of peace and goodwill among the peoples of the world. • Separation of the judiciary from the executive, as soon as practicable. • To achieve parity in the representation of Pakistan and West Pakistan in all spheres of federal administration.

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