All you Need to Know About 1956 Constitution of Pakistan

All you Need to Now About the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan in Urdu English PDF Download. Topics we are going to cover here are the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan’s main points, which was abrogated by, date, articles, was given by, Prime Minister(PM), enforced by, and its salient features.

Also Read: Constitution 1956 Mcqs

All you Need to Now About 1956 Constitution of Pakistan

1956 Constitution of Pakistan Date:

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 Constitution, Pakistan became the Islamic Republic, hence 23rd March became our Republic day.

1956 Constitution of Pakistan Main Points(Articles)

After assuming charge as Prime Minister, Chaudhary Muhammad Ali and his team worked hard to formulate a constitution. The committee, which was assigned the task to frame the Constitution, presented the draft Bill to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on January 9, 1956. The bill was opposed by the Bengali autonomists. Bhashai, the leader of the Awami League in East Pakistan, even used the threat of secession to press for autonomy and his party staged a walkout from the Assembly on February 29, when the Assembly adopted the Constitution. Later on, Awami League boycotted the official ceremonies celebrating the inauguration of the Constitution.

However, despite their opposition, the Constitution was adopted and was enforced on March 23, 1956. With this Pakistan’s status as a dominion ended and the country was declared the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Constituent Assembly became the interim National Assembly and Governor-General Iskander Mirza was sworn in as the first President of Pakistan.

The Constitution of 1956 consisted of 234 articles, divided into 13 parts and 6 schedules. Following were the chief characteristics of the Constitution:

  • Pakistan was declared the Islamic Republic and it was made mandatory that only a Muslim could become the President of the country. President would set up an Organization for Islamic Research. Good relations with the Muslim countries became the main objective of the Foreign Policy. Objectives Resolution and Quaid’s declaration that Pakistan would be a democratic state based on Islamic principles of social justice were made in the preamble of the Constitution. Steps were to be taken to enable the Muslims individually and collectively to order their lives in accordance with the teaching of the Quran and Sunnah and to implement Islamic moral standards. The sectarian interpretations among the Muslims were to get due regard. Measures were to be taken to properly organize zakat, waqfs, and mosques. However, one clause relating to the elimination of riba, which was part of the draft was eventually dropped.
  • The constitution provided for the federal form of government with three lists of subjects: federal, provincial, and concurrent. The federal list consisted of 33 items, the provincial of 94 items, and a concurrent list of 19 items. The federal legislation was to get precedence over provincial legislation regarding the concurrent list. In case of a conflict between federal and provincial governments, or between the provincial governments, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was to act as a mediator. The federal government exercised wider control in provincial matters in case of emergency.
  • Though the constitution provided for the Parliamentary form of Government, it declared that the executive authority of the Federation would be in the president.
  • Any Muslim citizen of Pakistan, who was at least forty years old, could be elected as the President of Pakistan for the term of five years. No one was entitled to hold this office for more than two tenures. 3/4th members of the Assembly could impeach the president.
  • President could appoint from amongst the MNAs a Prime Minister who had to take the vote of confidence from the house in two months. The Prime Minister had to inform the president about all the decisions of the cabinet.
  • Ministers could be taken from outside the National Assembly but they were to get themselves elected within six months.
  • President had the power to summon, prorogue, and dissolve the Assembly on the advice of the cabinet. No bill imposing taxes or involving expenditure could be moved without his consent. He had partial veto power. He could give or withhold his assent to a bill passed by the Assembly.
  • Prime Minister and his cabinet were to aid and advise the president. The president was required to follow the advice of the cabinet except where he was empowered to act at his discretion.
  • The Constitution is entitled to a Unicameral Legislature. The National Assembly was to consist of 300 members. The age limit of a candidate for a seat in the National Assembly was 25 years.
  • The principle of parity was accommodated in the Constitution. West Pakistan was treated as one unit and seats were divided equally between the two wings of the country. National Assembly was to meet at least twice a year. A minimum of one session should be held in Dhaka.
  • Members of the Assembly were to be elected based on Direct Elections conducted based on Adult Franchise. However, for the first ten years, five additional seats were reserved for women from each wing. Every citizen, who was more than 21 years of age was considered an adult.
  • The provincial structure was similar to that of the center. There were 300 members in both provincial assemblies. Ten additional seats were reserved for women. Punjab was given 40% seats in the West Pakistan Assembly.
  • It was a Written Constitution.
  • It was a Flexible Constitution and two-thirds of members of the Assembly could bring an amendment to the constitution.
  • Fundamental Rights were made justiciable. However, the President had the power to suspend fundamental rights in case of emergency.
  • Elaborate provisions were made for the higher judiciary to ensure its independence.
  • Urdu and Bengali were declared the state languages. However, for the first twenty years, English was to continue as an official language. After ten years, the president was to appoint a commission to make recommendations for the replacement of English.

The constitution was never practically implemented as no elections were held. It was eventually abrogated on October 7, 1958, when Martial Law was enforced.

1956 Constitution of Pakistan was Abrogated by

On 7 October 1958, President Iskander Mirza staged a coup d’état. He abrogated the constitution, imposed martial law, and appointed General Muhammad Ayub Khan as the Chief Martial Law Administrator and Aziz Ahmad as Secretary-General and Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator.

1956 Constitution of Pakistan was given by

The Constituent Assembly adopted it on 29 February 1956, and it was enforced on 23 March 1956, proclaiming Pakistan to be an Islamic republic.

Salient Features of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan

Following are the salient features of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.

1). Written Constitution:

The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was a written constitution, which consisted of 234 Articles, 13 parts, and 6 Schedules.

2). Preamble:

The preamble of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was based on objectives resolution.

3). Partly Rigid Partly Flexible:

The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was partly rigid and partly flexible. It means that it could be amended according to changing circumstances.

4). Islamic Republic:

The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan provided that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic Country.

5). Parliamentary form of Government:

The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan provided a Parliamentary form of Government. The prime minister was the head of the Government, and all the cabinet members were chosen from the Parliament. The members of the cabinet were accountable to the Parliament collectively.

6). Federalism:

Federalism was provided by the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.

7). Checks and Balances:

Unlike the British practice, the President under the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was not a nominal head of state. A system of checks and balances was introduced in the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.

8). Fundamental Rights:

The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan also provided fundamental rights. The Supreme Court was responsible for the enforcement and could declare any law or order as null and void if it was against the fundamental rights.

9). Unicameralism:

The 1956 Constitution was unicameral. The Parliament consisted of only one house which was known as National Assembly.

10). Judicial Review:

The 1956 Constitution provided Judicial review too. The Court could declare null and void any law which was against the constitution.

11). Islamic Provisions:

Sovereignty belongs to Allah and no law should be made against Islam.

12). National Languages:

The 1956 Constitution also provided that Bengali and Urdu were National Languages.

13). Independence of Judiciary:

The 1956 Constitution also provided the independence of the judiciary where the judges were appointed by the head of state. They could be removed only through impeachment.

14). Three Lists Relating to Distribution of Powers:

Three lists were provided for the distribution of powers between the Centre and Province.

i). Federal List:

The Centre was authorized to legislate on all matters which were enumerated in the federal legislative list.

ii). Provincial List:

The provincial legislature was authorized to legislate on all matters given in the provincial legislative list.

iii). Concurrent List:

The parliament and the Provincial legislative were authorized to legislate on matters given in the concurrent legislative list.

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