The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1962.


Right after the independence Pakistan faced many challenges on political as well as on legal front. After 9 years of struggle the then political leadership succeeded to pass its own constitution in 1956. The leadership strived day and night for having a constitution to run the affairs of the country. Unfortunately, thisย  hard-earned victory did last for long. A dictator, General Ayyub Khan, abrogated this crucial documentย  that had been enacted by the chosen representatives of the people of Pakistan. This was the first martial law imposed on the people of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which lasted for a long and whose repercussions and implications can still be felt in our political and legal system. After suspending the first-ever Constitution of the country,ย  General Ayyub formed a Constitutional Commission to draft another constitution. The then Chief Justice, Mr. Shahabuddin, was appointed as head of the Commission and they came up with a constitution which was later on imposed on the people of Pakistan.

In the new constitution, a presidential system was introduced, abolishing the parliamentary system and president was conferred unlimited power as a head of the state. The president acquired power , among other things,ย  to dissolve the assemblies, be they national or provincial and to appoint governors and ministers at federal as well as provincial levels. In summary, this was a power-centralized regime of a dictator where the chosen representatives had very less to say, and they had become symbolic in the new regime.

An attempt was also made in the new constitution to change Islam as the official religion of the state. The state was initially declared as The Republic Of Pakistan and the suffix of Islam was removed, but right after one year of the new constitution, Islam had to be declared as an official religion of the state on the protest of the democratic representatives of the people of Pakistan.

under the guise of Basic Democracies system, local bodiesย  wereย  also introduced in the new constitution which were looked at as diluting theย  political parties’ influence, leading to authoritarianism. General Ayyub tried hard to steer the nation towards modernization and stability but concentrating power within himself and suppressing the political leadership and its power generated discontent and anxiety among the general public. The rest is a bleak history of our country, depicting that how it led to political turmoil and partition of the country.

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