Salient Features of 1962 Constitution of Pakistan

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 20:54 -- Umar Farooq

Introduction to 1962 Constitution of Pakistan

After 9 years of hard labour Pakistan was able to frame its first constitution. But due to unparliamentary role of those who were at the helm of affairs, it lived shortly. Martial Law was imposed and the constitution was abrogated. Muhammad Ayub Khan appointed a commission which had to prepare a draft constitution. The commission submitted its report but behind the scene Gen. Azam Khan and Manzoor Quader prepared another report, which was accepted by the military regime as the new constitution, which was implemented on June 8, 1962 under which Pakistan was declared a republic with Presidential system and unicameralism. Also Read: Indian Constitution

Salient Features of 1962 Constitution

The Salient Features of 1962 Constitution of Pakistan are as follows:

Federal System

Under the constitution of 1962 federal system was adopted. The powers of the central government were enumerated in the Federal List while all the residuary powers were given to the provinces so as to meet the demand of provincial autonomy. However, with in this federal structure, the central government was made domineering even at the cost of provincial autonomy. Besides in the administrative matters, centralism was clearly reflected. The provincial governors were the appointees of President and accountable to him: Hence the provincial executive was under the control of the center. This centralism bore more disastrous results in respect of provincial autonomy. Consequently, the federal structure practically seemed unitary due to which the demand of provincial autonomy became more popular and widespread which threatened our solidarity in the later stage.

A Written and Detailed Document

The 1962 constitution was written in nature and character. It consisted of 250 Articles and 3 Schedules. Thus it was comparatively detailed document. Keeping in view the lack of democratic values and established norms it was thought expedient to give a detailed code of constitutional law as could regulate the conduct of different political institutions.

Islamic Provisions

Like previous constitution of 1956 the Objective Resolution was included in the Preamble of the constitution. The teachings of Quran and Islamiyat were to be made compulsory. The President was to be Muslim. Pakistan was declared an Islamic republic through first amendment. No un-Islamic law would be enacted and all the existing laws would be Islamized etc.

Position of the President

Under the Constitution of 1962 US-type presidential system was enforced to overcome political instability and establish a firm socio-economic and political order. All the executive authority was vested in the President who was unanimously responsible for the business of the central government. All the ministers were appointed by him and they were accountable to him alone. They could participate in the deliberations of the legislature but they were not responsible to it. Along with the provincial governors all the top ranking officials were appointed by him. The president also enjoyed certain legislative, military and judicial powers. The provincial set up also followed the central structure. In short, it was the President who was all in all.

Unicameral Legislature

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