Pakistan Government and Politics

By | December 17, 2021

Until February 1956 the constitutional order of Pakistan was based on two documents: the Government of India Act of 1935 with the amendments and adaptations established by the Pakistan Provisional Constitution Order of 1947; and the India Independence Act of 1947 which equalized the powers of the two new dominions of India and of the Pakistan with those of the already existing dominions. But when the work of the Constituent Assembly, established after independence, was concluded, on February 29, 1956 a constitution was promulgated which made the Pakistan a “Federal Republic with the name of Islamic Republic of Pakistan” within the British Commonwealth, recognizing in the Queen of the United Kingdom “the symbol of the free association of the member states and, as such, the head of the Community”. The definition of “Islamic republic” and the clause that no non-Muslim citizen would be eligible for president, indicate the distinctly confessional nature of the new charter, which was short-lived. In fact, in October 1958, basic democracy). This decree establishes the establishment of a pyramidal system of councils, partly elective, partly nominated by the government. For Pakistan political system, please check

The top of the pyramid is made up of two Provincial Development Advisory Councils, one for the West Fr and one for the East Fr. Below the two provincial councils are the Divisional councils, one for each of the country’s administrative divisions. Then follow the District councils, the councils of the thana or the ta ḥṣī l (thana, or ta ḥṣī l, are subdivisions of the district: the first denomination is in use in the western Pakistan, the other in the eastern Pakistan) and, lastly, local councils or committees (Local councils or Local committees), divided into Union committees or Town committees for urban areas, and Union councils for rural areas. According to what President Moḥammed Ayyūb Khān himself declared on January 15, 1960, the members of the committees or local urban councils (Town, or Union, committees) will be exclusively elective, while those of the local rural councils (Union councils) will be one third of the government nominated. The local councils will remain in office for five years. Voters are all citizens who have reached the age of twenty-one (except for the normal exclusions for criminals, the mentally ill, etc. provided for by a specific document: the Elective bodies disqualification order); eligible, all electoral citizens who are at least twenty-five years old.

The advice of the thana, or ta Hsi l, have the task of coordinating the activities of local councils within their respective thana or tahsil. They are made up of one third of members designated by government authorities and two thirds of “representative” members. The presidents of local committees or councils are ex officio representative members.

The presidents of the councils of the thana, or ta ḥṣī l, the presidents of the municipal administrations included in a particular district and all the representatives of the public administration expressly specified by the government, are ex officio members of the district councils, whose task is the coordination of the activities of the respective municipal bodies and local councils. The members appointed by the government are, in these councils, no less than the number of members ex officio and half chosen from among the presidents of the local councils included in the district in question. District council chairpersons are, ex officio, the heads of the district administration themselves called collectors) with a term dating back to the British administration.

The divisional councils, whose task is the coordination of all the organs in the area of ​​their competence and the elaboration of development plans to be submitted to the provincial councils, are composed of official members – such as the collectors and certain municipal and ministerial appointed by the government – and by a no less number of members nominated by the government chosen, at least half, among the presidents of the local councils. The presidents of the divisional councils are, ex officio, the officers in charge of the divisions called, with a term also dating back to the British administrative system, commissioners (commissiones). Finally, the provincial development advisory councils are composed of ex officio members and government appointed members in a proportion directly determined by the president of Pakistan. The task of the provincial councils is to provide the government with opinions on the coordination of the activities of the provincial bodies, on the granting of subsidies to these bodies, on the establishment of institutes for the training of members and employees of the same, etc.

The decree of October 27, 1959 also dictates rules on the administration of local financial funds and defines the relations between councils of the same grade.

Meanwhile, on February 17, 1960, a commission of ten members (five for the Western Fr and five for the Eastern Fr) was officially established, chaired by a magistrate of the Supreme Court, with the task of drafting, in the shortest possible time, a new constitution thanks to which we can put an end to the martial law regime still in force. The official language is for the moment English, but it seems that a language is being studied which, composed of lexical elements of Urdū and Bengali (but it is not clear how the morphological differences existing between the two languages ​​will be harmonized), should become for the whole country the new official language. The project, aired around 1951, to make Arabic the official language of the Pakistan, seems for the moment abandoned.

In October 1959 the government offices and, subsequently, the foreign diplomatic representations, moved from Karachi to Rawalpindi, near which the new capital which will be called Islāmābād is being built.

Pakistan Government