CONSTITUTION OF 1956research paperOriginsIn 1947, Pakistan became independent from British rule, but since it had no constitution of its own Pakistan was considered as a British dominion. As per Indian Independence Act, 1947, the Government of India Act 1935, was implemented as constitution of Pakistan, but the drafting of new constitution through elected legislators of the people and a complete independence held much significance for the citizens of a sovereign state. Hence, a constituent assembly was made, which had two separate functions:To draft a Constitution for the Pakistan, andTo establish a Federal Legislative Assembly or Parliament until that Constitution was framed and implementedThe Constituent Assembly was conferred of the objectives of the central legislature under the Government of India Act. The Constituent Assembly holds the right to ameliorate the Indian Independence Act, 1947 or the Government of India Act, 1935 and any decision taken by the British Parliament would not come into effect in Pakistan until a legislation is passed by the Constituent Assembly. Originally, the number of members in first Constituent Assembly were 69 which later increased to 79.12 March 1949- This day has a major significance in the history of Pakistan as the first major step in the framing the constitution for Pakistan was undertaken by the Constituent Assembly, which is known as Objectives Resolution. It provided the basic framework of the constitution and showed the outline of its foundation. The resolution was carried out by Liaquat Ali Khan, the first Prime Minister of Pakistan during which he is known to have said”Sir, I consider this to be a most important occasion in the life of this country, next in importance only to the achievement of independence, because by achieving independence we only won an opportunity of building up a country and its polity in accordance with our ideals. I would like to remind the house that the Father of the Nation, Quaid-e-Azam, gave expression of his feelings on this matter on many occasions, and his views were endorsed by the nation in unmistakable terms, Pakistan was founded because the Muslims of this sub-continent wanted to build up their lives in accordance with the teachings and traditions of Islam, because they wanted to demonstrate to the world that Islam provides a panacea to the many diseases which have crept into the life of humanity today.”The resolution was debated for five days. The main individuals from the government and many Non-Muslim individuals, particularly from East Bengal, had a prominent part. Non-Muslim representatives raised concerns about their position and role in the new policy. An Birat Chandra Mandal declared that Jinnah had “unequivocally said that Pakistan will be a secular state.” Bhupendra Kumar Datta went a step further: “…were this resolution to come before this house within the life-time of the Great Creator of Pakistan, the Quaid-e-Azam, it would not have come in its present shape….” was raised by Hindus of the Constitutional Assembly that the Objectives Resolution and Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s (Quaid-e-Azam) view differed in terms of basic principles on which Sris Chandra Chattopadhyaya said:” What I hear in this (Objectives) Resolution is not the voice of the great creator of Pakistan – the Quaid-e-Azam, nor even that of the Prime Minister of Pakistan the Honorable Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, but of the Ulema of the land.”However, Muslim scholars and a large proportion of population of Pakistan had a viewpoint that this was as per Quaid-e-Azam’s viewpoint. They also argued that since objective resolution deals the minorities with equality so they did not had any compulsion in adopting or converting into Islam.Nine years after Independence, Pakistan had successfully framed a constitution. The Constitution was espoused by Constituent Assembly on 29 February 1956, and embraced on 23 March 1956, affirming Pakistan as a Islamic republic.Provisions Pakistan’s was no longer considered as a dominion after the framework of constitution. Now Pakistan held its reputation as Islamic republic in the international world. The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan came to be known as interim National Assembly and Iskander Mirza, former governer general, became the first President of Pakistan.The Constitution of 1956 was much detailed as compared to the other constitutions of Pakistan. A principle of parity between East Pakistan and West Pakistan was provided for federal system by the constitution in which the Federal Legislature was to perform like the British Parliament.The Constitution of 1956 consisted of 234 articles, which were divided into 13 parts and 6 schedules. The constitution was very detailed so some salient features are provided below.Islamic Provisions in 1956 Constitution. Pakistan was founded on the name of Islam. The Objective Resolution was included in the Preamble of the constitution, which acknowledged sovereignty of God on the universe. Initiative was made that Muslims of Pakistan should implement the teaching of Quran and Sunnah in their lives. The President of Pakistan must be a Muslim. Non-Muslims were also protected and considered as citizens of Pakistan. The Islamic provisions were contained in the directive principles of the state policy. Along with other Islamic provisions in the Constitution, the president, who was required to be a Muslim of at least 40 years of age, was to set up an organization for Islamic research with the aim of establishing a true Islamic society.The Constitution vested the executive authority of the President in the Federation. There were three legislative lists Federal, Provincial and Concurrent. Federal List contained 30 Subjects, the Provincial 94 and in the Concurrent List only 19 Subjects were enumerated. The central and provincial legislatures were authorised to make laws regarding important subjects. Central law was to be used in case of conflict. The provinces were entrusted with all the residuary powers and this paved way for decentralization of authorities so as to meet the demands of provincial autonomy. In case of conflict between the center and the provinces, the Chief Justice of Pakistan would have to settle the dispute. The President had the authority to make the appointment of the Chairman and members of the Election Commission, Delimitation Commission, Public Service Commission and power to appoint the Prime Minister from amongst the members of the National Assembly. However, his appointee had to be elected through vote of confidence from the Assembly within two months of his appointment. The President also had the power to remove the Prime Minister if he felt that the Prime Minister had lost the confidence of the majority of the National Assembly members.Parliamentary Form of Government. Under the constitution parliamentary form of government was adopted. All the ministers were supposed to be the members of Parliament and they remained in office so long as they retained the confidence of the majority members in the Assembly. They were individually as well as collectively responsible to the National Assembly and had to participate in its proceedings and to guide legislation. The Assembly had the power, to pass a vote of no confidence against the ministry. The President was the Head of State while the Prime Minister was the Head of Government. Unicameral Legislature. The 1956 Constitution is characterized by unicameralism referred to as National Assembly. It consisted of 300 members who were directly elected by the people of both the wings on parity basis for a period of 5 years. Apart from this, 10 seats were also reserved for women for 10 years. Any person with age of 25 or above could become its member. Every Pakistani with age 21 or above had right to vote. Speaker and Deputy Speaker were to be the presiding officers. There were to be at least 2 sessions of Assembly every year.Fundamental Rights. Fundamental rights were made part of the constitution, which were enforced by the Supreme Court. All such laws and administrative policies that violated fundamental rights could be challenged in the law-courts. There was no discrimination between Muslims and Hindus over these rights. Some of these included right to life, liberty, property and personal security, freedom of speech, expression, thought and action, right of movement, right to privacy and family life etc.Official Language. Under the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan both Urdu and Bengali were made official languages of Pakistan. Nevertheless, for a peroid of 25 years english was adopted and accepted as language for professional use.Abrogation of the constitutionAbsence Of Islamic Provisions. Though Pakistan was considered as a Islamic state but the constitution did not contained many provisions that facilitated Islamic culture. Non Existence of Economic Equality. Non existence of economic equality in the country was a cause of failure of constitution. The principles for economic development of country were described by the constitution of 1956 but nepotism and feudalism became the causes that prevented the constitution from implementing those principles. Finally, parliamentary system under this constitution failed.Lack of State Parliamentary System. Constitution of 1956 provided the principles for the parliament to follow but we’re inconvenient for development of parliamentary system because of which parliamentary system failed to develop under first constitution of Pakistan. After enforcement of constitution of 1956, role of President remained very authoritative. His undue interference with political parties and ministers kept Pakistan away from constitutional development, and consequently, parliamentary system under this constitution failed.Lack of Political Training. There was lack of political training in the country. Many political parties undertook decisive measures without any particular political goal. Each fought against the other to gain power. This resulted in failure of the formation of efficient political system. The constitution Of Pakistan 1956 was the first constitution of Pakistan which had changed Pakistan from a dominion to a Islamic republic. This had brought many benefits to Pakistan, politically and socially and helped gain our country much respect in international world. Despite many efforts the constitution had a couple of drawbacks which held their own significance. On 7 October 1958, President Iskander Mirza staged a military coup. 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.