“The Magnificent Framework, Pakistan’s Constitution Of 1956”.

“The Magnificent Framework, Pakistan’s Constitution Of 1956”.


Since its creation, Pakistan faced many problems. Initially, the Govt. of India Act 1935 was amended and implemented as an interim constitution. After the approval of the objective resolution, the next process was making a constitution on the basis of these objectives. Different committees were formed. One of the committees was named as Basic Principles Committee. This committee submitted many recommendations but all were rejected.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan acknowledges that Allah Almighty holds sovereignty over the entire universe, and the people of Pakistan exercise the powers bestowed upon them within the limits prescribed by Him. The country’s laws must be in accordance with the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, and no law should be passed against them. Any existing laws that do not comply must be amended accordingly. It is necessary to ensure that the laws of the country align with the values and principles of Islam. Therefore, the country shall be known and referred to as the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.

Constitution of 1956

The first constitutional assembly was dissolved by Governor General Ghulam Muhammad and a new came into being in June 1955. Governor General appointed Muhammad Ali Bogra as the new Prime Minister. Muhammad Ali Bogra presented his own formula. The new constitutional assembly approved the formation of one unit.

In one unit, the four provinces of the western part of Pakistan were merged into one province called the West Pakistan. Eastern Bengal was named as East Pakistan.

After the removal of Muhammad Ali Bogra, Ch. Muhammad Ali became the prime minister of Pakistan. Under his guidance, the draft of the new constitution was presented in the assembly on 9th January 1956. After the approval of the Governor General, it was enforced on 23rd March 1956.

Salient Features of the Constitution

  1. It was a written constitution consisting of 234 articles, which were divided into 13 parts and 6 schedules.
  2.  Rights included safety of life and property, freedom of expression, freedom of gathering, and right to serve were granted to everyone.
  1. All the adult citizens were given the right to vote.
  2.  The independence of the judiciary was guaranteed. Supreme Court shall be the highest court. Two high courts, one in each province shall be established.
  3. This constitution was flexible in nature. For amendment, a third (2/3) majority in the National Assembly was mentioned as necessary.
  4.  The Constitution established a federal system of Government. A separate list of powers for the center and provinces was given.
  5. It was decided to adopt a parliamentary system but such powers were given to the president which negated the principles of the supremacy of the parliament. The president had the power to dissolve the assembly.
  6. Urdu and Bengali were accepted as state languages, while English was to remain the official language for 25 years.

Islamic provisions of the 1956 Constitution

  1.  No any law shall be enacted against the Quran and Sunnah and all existing laws shall be brought in conformity with the Quran and Sunnah.
  2. The name of the country will be “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”.
  1.  The head of the state will necessarily be a Muslim.
  2. According to the constitution, the evils of Riba, adultery, gambling, and drinking must be eradicated.
  3. Proper arrangements for Zakat and Auqaf were promised in the constitution.
  4.  Pakistan shall be a welfare state where the Government will provide better working conditions for labor, free medical and education, and provision of bread, clothing, and shelter.
  5.  It was mentioned that friendly relations would be established with Muslim countries.
  6.  It was promised to protect the rights of minorities and grant them religious freedom.

Abrogation of Constitution

Iskandar Mirza who dethroned Ghulam Muhammad and a Governor General on 16th October 1955 was actually representing two strong institutions of Pakistan Army and Bureaucracy. With the enforcement of the constitution, he became president but he removed four Prime Ministers one by one in

two years. With the removal of 4th Prime Minister Feroz Khan Noon, Iskandar Mirza imposed martial law in the country and the constitution of 1956 was abrogated.

The first president of Pakistan Iskander Mirza only for his personal interest abrogated the constitution of 1956 and declared Martial Law on 7th October 1958, He appointed General Ayub Khan, Chief of The Pakistan Army as Martial Law administrator. Ayub Khan forced Iskandar Mirza to resign the office of president and was exiled. He himself assumed all the powers on 27th October 1958 and set up the military regime. The Political system was abolished. All the Assemblies were dissolved and he took over the charge of the office of president and Chief Martial Law administrator.


i) What is the Constitution of Pakistan 1956?
ii) When was the Constitution of Pakistan Constitution 1956 enacted?
iii) How did the Constitution of Pakistan 1956 differ from previous governance structures?
iv)What were the key features of the Constitution of 1956?
v) What rights were granted to citizens under the Constitution of 1956?