“Welcome to The Wonderful Tapestry of Pakistan Politics!”

“Welcome to The Wonderful Tapestry of Pakistan Politics!”


At the heart of this equitable symphony lies the bicameral council, a dynamic twosome comprising the National Get together and the Senate. The National Gathering, associated with the beating heart of the country, throbs with the coordinated decision of its individuals.

In the interim, the Senate, a bastion of territorial representation, sees its individuals chosen by the chosen common administrators, guaranteeing voices from every corner discover reverberation within the sacrosanct corridors of control.

Presently, let’s discuss almost all the planners of administration:
The Prime Serve and the President.

But hold up, there’s more! Past the glory of national legislative issues, Pakistan boasts a flourishing environment of neighborhood administration, with over five thousand chosen nearby governments, each weaving its possess account of a grassroots vote-based system.

And who supervises this constituent event? Enter the Race Commission of Pakistan, a protected gatekeeper chaired by a Chief Race Commissioner. Entrusted with overseeing common races, this institution guarantees that the majority rule apparatus murmurs along easily, guided by the sacred compass laid out in Portion VIII, Chapter 2, and its different revisions.

In this colorful mosaic of political pluralism, Pakistan grasps a multi-party framework, where differing voices discover expression within the 342-seat National Gathering and the 100-seat Senate (taking after the merger of ex-Federally Managed Tribal Areas).

So, stamp your calendars! Agreeing to the sacred proclamation, common decisions spread out five a long time, synchronizing with the completion or disintegration of the National Gathering, with a two-month window for the discretionary display to unfurl.

Connect us as we dive more profound into the texture of vote vote-vote-based system, where each vote tallies and every voice resounds within the amazing adventure of administration. 

History of elections in Pakistan

Largest faction
1954 election (indirect elections) = Muslim League
1962 election (independents-only indirect elections) = Independents
1970 election (first direct general election) = Awami League
1977 election = Pakistan Peoples Party
1985 election = Independents
1988 election = Pakistan Peoples Party
1990 election = Pakistan Muslim League
1993 election = Pakistan Peoples Party
1997 election = Pakistan Muslim League (N)
2002 election = Pakistan Muslim League (Q)
2008 election = Pakistan Peoples Party
2013 election = Pakistan Muslim League (N)
2018 election = Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

Electoral History (1947-1958)

  • Between 1947 and 1958, there were no coordinated national-level elections in Pakistan.
  • Decisions were sporadic and common decisions were infrequent, leading to criticism of the electoral process.

Early Electoral Events

  • After independence, the Punjab Provincial Assembly held the first direct elections between March 10th and March 20th, 1951.
  • 939 candidates contested 189 seats, with the rest filled unopposed, reflecting limited electoral participation.
  • Turnout was low, particularly in rural areas of Punjab, with only 30 percent in Lahore.

Election Irregularities

  • Similarly, the May 1953 elections to the Sindh Provincial Assembly were also tainted by allegations of irregularities.

East Pakistan Electoral Dynamics

  • In April 1954, elections were held for the East Pakistan Legislative Assembly, where the Pakistan Muslim League lost to the pan-Bengali nationalist United Front alliance.
  • Notably, the incumbent Prime Minister of East Pakistan, Mr. Nurul Amin, lost his seat to a young leader, Khaleque Nawaz Khan, marking a significant shift in political dynamics.

1970 General Elections

  • The 1970 Pakistani general election marked the first direct elections after independence.
  • It was seen as a pivotal moment, with the military government compelled to transfer power to democratically elected authorities after a prolonged struggle.
  • In East Pakistan, the election was viewed as a referendum for autonomy, especially for the Bengali population, who felt marginalized despite constituting a significant portion of Pakistan’s population.

The decision was won by Awami Alliance, having 167 seats out of 313, and Sheik Mujibur Rahman was to be the primary democratically-elected Prime Serve of Pakistan. However the military government, at the ask of restriction pioneer Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, refused to exchange control to the chosen Parliament, causing the starting of the Bangladesh Freedom War. 

Here is a chart representing the political parties’ performances in general elections under military governments in Pakistan in 1970 and 1985:

Political Parties19701985
Awami League (AL)160 / 3000 / 345
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)81 / 3000 / 345
Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)4 / 30061 / 200
Pakistan Muslim League (PML)9 / 30096 / 200
PML (Council) (PML-C)4 / 3000 / 200
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI)7 / 3008 / 200
PML (Convention) (PML (C))0 / 300
National Awami Party (Wali) (NAP(W))6 / 3002 / 200
Pakistan Democratic Party (PDP)1 / 3000 / 200
Independents16 / 30033 / 200
Total Seats300200
Chief Election Commissioner(s)Abdus SattarKaram Illahi Chohan
Elections under President(s)Yahya KhanZia-ul-Haq
Voter turnout63.0%52.9%

This chart illustrates the distribution of seats among various political parties and independents during the specified general elections, providing insight into their respective performances under military governments.

General elections from 1977 to 2013

Return of Democracy

  • After the Liberation of East Pakistan, democracy returned to Pakistan.
  • In 1977, general elections were held but were marred by election violence instigated by the right-wing PNA, leading to martial law being imposed against the left-oriented Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Benazir Bhutto’s Era (1988-1996)

  • In 1988, PPP came to power but was dismissed within two years due to lawlessness.
  • In 1990, a right-wing alliance formed the government but collapsed in 1993.
  • In 1993, the PPP regained power with Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister.
  • Bhutto focused on strengthening education, defense, and foreign policy, but faced criticism and lost support in Sindh following her brother’s death.
  • Corruption allegations tarnished her image, leading to her dismissal by the President in 1996.

Nawaz Sharif’s Era (1997-1999)

  • In 1997, The Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N) gained a supermajority in parliament under Nawaz Sharif’s leadership.
  • Despite his popularity and peace initiatives, Sharif’s government was ended by General Musharraf, who accused him of hijacking and terrorism charges.

Musharraf’s Regime (1999-2008)

  • Musharraf held general elections in 2002, barring Sharif and Bhutto from public office.
  • Zafarullah Jamali and later Shaukat Aziz served as Prime Ministers.
  • Musharraf’s support for the US war in Afghanistan damaged his credibility.
  • Attempting to dismiss the judiciary led to Musharraf’s downfall.

PPP’s Return to Power (2008-2013)

  • In 2008, The PPP, supported by a left-wing alliance, came to power in opposition to Musharraf.
  • Their tenure was marked by challenges including load shedding, law and order issues, and economic struggles.

PML-N’s Victory (2013)

  • In the 2013 elections, PML-N won 166 seats in the National Assembly and formed the government.

Political Parties performances in General elections since 1977

Here is a chart representing the performances of political parties in general elections since 1977:

Political Parties19771988199019931997200220082013
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)155934589188112442
Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML-N)854106731371991166
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)01315012172518
Awami National Party (ANP)17263100131
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Islam (F) (JUI-F)076020010
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI)000001035
Pakistan Muslim League(Q) (PML-Q)00000118542
Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI)1116306303
Total Seats200207207207207342340342
Voter Turnout63.1%43.07%45.46%40.28%35.42%41.08%44.23%55.02%

This chart provides a snapshot of the performance of various political parties in general elections across different years, along with voter turnout percentages.

2008 Common Races:
A Turning Point

The 2008 Pakistani common decision checked a noteworthy turning point within the country’s political scene.
Solid exhibitions by the Pakistan People Groups Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim Alliance (Nawaz) (PML-N) reshaped the political elements.

Race Points of Interest

The decision was put on 18 February 2008, following a delay from the initial date of 8 January 2008.
The reason was to choose individuals from the National Get together of Pakistan, the lower house of the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament).
Both the PPP and the PML-N rose as the most resistant parties, securing the lion’s share of seats within the decision.
Fusion Arrangement

In reaction to the decision comes about, the PPP and PML-N marked the Bhurban Agreement, signaling an unused time of participation.
Yousaf Raza Gillani was named the Prime Serve of Pakistan under the consolidation government.
Affirmation of Decency

Pervez Musharraf, the then-President, recognized the decency of the discretionary handle.
He acknowledged the vanquish of his party, the PML (Q), and swore to collaborate with the modern Parliament.
Voter Turnout and By-Elections

The voter turnout for the race was critical, with 35,170,435 individuals casting their votes, constituting 44% of qualified voters.
By-elections for 28 seats, counting 23 common and 5 national seats, were postponed at different times but were in the long run held on 26 June 2008.

PartiesVotes%Elected seatsReserved seats (women)Reserved seats (minorities)TotalPercentile
Pakistan Peoples Party10,606,48630.6%97234124124 / 340
Pakistan Muslim League (N)6,781,44519.6%711739191 / 340
Pakistan Muslim League (Q)7,989,81723.0%421025454 / 340
Muttahida Qaumi Movement2,507,8137.4%19512525 / 340
Awami National Party700,4792.0%10301313 / 340
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal PakistanJamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F)772,7982.2%61077 / 340
Pakistan Muslim League (F)41055 / 340
Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpao)140,7070.4%10011 / 340
National Peoples Party10011 / 340
Balochistan National Party (Awami)10011 / 340
Independents18001818 / 340
Total (turnout 44%)Note: Tehreek-e-InsafJamaat-e-IslamiJamiat Ulema-e-PakistanTehrik-e-Jafaria Pakistan, and Jamiat Ahle Hadith Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party did not participate.34,665,978100%2706010340

History of Presidential elections: 1956 to 2013

Political parties19561965
Republican Party (RP)200[7]0
Pakistan Muslim League (PML)10120[8]
Combined Opposition Party (COP)415[8]
National Democratic Front05
Electoral College
Total Votes309[7]190
President after electionIA MirzaA. Khan
Voter turnout64%[7]
Political PartyRPPML

Evolution of Presidential Races in Pakistan

1956 Structure and Iskandar Ali Mirza’s Administration

  • Iskandar Ali Mirza became the first President of Pakistan in 1956.
  • Mirza, an East-Pakistani Bengali, was elected with the support of the Awami Association.
  • His administration was marked by frequent dismissals of prime ministers, leading to political instability.
  • Mirza imposed military law in 1958 but was subsequently removed by General Ayub Khan.

Introduction of Fundamental Democracy Framework (1965)

  • General Ayub Khan introduced the “Framework of Fundamental Democracy” in 1958.
  • Under this system, voters delegated their rights to 80,000 representatives known as Basic Democrats.
  • The first direct presidential election was held in 1965, with two main contenders:
    • Pakistan Muslim Alliance (PML) led by Ayub Khan and the Combined Opposition Parties (COP) led by Fatima Jinnah.
  • PML secured a majority with 120 seats, whereas COP managed only 15 seats amidst allegations of state apparatus rigging the votes.

Transition to Electoral College System (1965 Constitution)

  • In response to the controversial 1965 election, the Constitution introduced the Electoral College system, reducing the president’s powers to a figurehead.
  • In 1973, Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry became the first president of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) through indirect polling.
  • Ghulam Ishaq Khan, a civil servant, served as president during martial law from 1977 to 1988.

Presidential Races in the Late 20th Century

  • In 1993, Farooq Leghari of PPP won the presidency but later resigned after ousting Benazir Bhutto from the government.
  • Nawaz Sharif appointed Rafiq Tarar, who became the first president of the Pakistan Muslim Alliance (N) in 1997.
  • Pervez Musharraf appointed himself president in 2001 and secured reappointment in 2004 amidst opposition boycotts.
  • Asif Zardari of PPP won the closely contested presidential election in 2008 after Musharraf’s resignation.

Recent Presidential Elections

  • Mamnoon Hussain won the 2013 presidential race amidst promises to reform electrical services, a major issue in the election.
  • The presidency transitioned from a position of power to a ceremonial role over the years, reflecting Pakistan’s evolving political landscape.
Political parties197319881993199720042007200820132018
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)451[10]608[11]274[12]31[13]EBEB481EB124
Pakistan Muslim League (N) (PML (N))168[12]374[13]EBEB153432
Pakistan Muslim League(Q) (PML (Q))00065867144
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)77352
Electoral College
Total Electoral College4577004424571,1701,170700706679
President after electionFI ChaudhyGI KhanF .LeghariR. TarrarP.MusharrafP.MusharrafA.ZardariM.HussainArif Alvi

Conduct of Common Races

Participation Limitation:
Agreeing to Articles 222-226 of the Structure of Pakistan, no person can at the same time hold enrollment in both the National Gathering and the Senate, or a House and a Common Gathering.

Convenient Races:
When the National Get together or a Common Get together is broken up, a common race must be formed within ninety days of the disintegration. The results of the race must be announced within fourteen days after the conclusion of the surveys.

Essentially, a common decision for the National Gathering or a Common Gathering must be held within sixty days after the term of the Gathering terminates, unless broken up sooner. Comes about of this race must be pronounced at slightest fourteen days sometime recently the expiry of the Assembly’s term.

Part of the Decision Commission of Pakistan

Foundation and Reason:
Set up in 1956, the Race Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is capable of conducting races in the houses of Parliament, four common gatherings, and other indicated open workplaces as per law or until such law is ordered by the Parliament.

The Decision Commission comprises the Chief Race Commissioner (CEC) as its chairman, who is regularly a judge or resigned judge of the Preeminent Court, or a senior respectful worker with at slightest twenty a long time of benefit or resigned in BPS-22, or a technocrat. Also, there are four named individuals from each area, each of whom could be a judge of the individual Tall Court. These arrangements are made by the President after counseling the Chief Judges of the Tall Courts and the Chief Decision Commissioner.

Arrangement Handle:
The President names the Chief Race Commissioner at his/her caution for a term of three a long time. The Structure gives the Commissioner with security of residency and money-related independence to guarantee fair-mindedness in conducting races. 

Levels of Races in Pakistan

Parliamentary Races

Constituent Framework:
Pakistan works beneath a parliamentary framework where both the official and assembly are specifically chosen by the open through voting in the public. The voting framework utilized is the first-past-the-post framework with a mystery vote.

Participation Limitations:
Concurring to Articles 222-229 of the Structure of Pakistan, candidates cannot at the same time hold participation in both the National Gathering and common gatherings.

Coordinate Decisions:
Candidates who get the most noteworthy number of votes in their voting public are announced as chosen individuals of the National Gathering or common congregations.

Gatherings Decisions

Situate Assignment:
Seats within the National Gathering are dispersed among the four territories, the Governmentally Managed Tribal Ranges (FATA), and the government capital based on the population as per the most recent census information.

Saved Seats:
Seats saved for ladies and non-Muslims are filled through a relative representation framework. Political parties yield records of candidates, and the allotment of these saved seats is based on the entire number of common seats secured by each party within the National Gathering or common gathering.

Number of Seats:
The National Get together comprises 342 seats, with individuals ordinarily chosen for five-year terms. Within the occasion of disintegration, races must be held within ninety days concurring to sacred arrangements.

National Assembly seats from provincesGeneral seatsSeats for womenTotal seats
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa35843
National Assembly seats from territories
Federally Administered Tribal Areas1212
Islamabad Capital Territory22
Specified seatsReserved seats for minorities
Seats for non-Muslims1010
CompositionTotal general seatsTotal seats for womenTotal seats
Total seats in NA27260342

Zimni Decisions (by-Elections)
By-elections (in Urdu call, Zimni Races ) are held to fill the empty situate due to acquiescence, preclusion, or passing of a person. The Election Commission of Pakistan has been facilitating Zimni decisions since It was established.

2013 by-Election

Primary article:
2013 By-Election in Pakistan
2022 Punjab common by-election
175 Candidates from over Punjab challenged in these by-elections. 3,131 Surveying Stations were made in 20 Voting public out of which 731 were for men, 700 for ladies, and 1700 were combined surveying stations.

The ECP has pronounced 1304 surveying stations delicate and 690 profoundly delicate. Surveying stations from Lahore (4 Seats) and Multan (1 Situate) have been pronounced sensitive.


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf1,034,52646.820015
Pakistan Muslim League (N)800,36839.52004
Others & IndependentsTBD12.713501
Registered voters/Turnout4,579,89846.96

Capabilities for Participation of Parliament:

The person must be a citizen of Pakistan.
Voter Enrollment:
The individual must be enlisted as a voter in any discretionary roll beneath the Discretionary Rolls Act 1974.
Age Requirement:
For National/Provincial Congregations, the person must be at slightest 25 a long time ancient. For the Senate, the age prerequisite is at least 30 a long time.
Great Character:
The candidate must have great character, going without exercises opposite to Islamic orders, with satisfactory information of Islamic lessons and hones.
Ethical Standing:
The candidate ought to be clever, noble, non-profligate, genuine, and ameen (dependable).
Criminal Record:
The candidate must not have been sentenced for a crime involving ethical turpitude or giving wrong proof.
Devotion and Philosophy:
The candidate must not have worked against the keenness of Pakistan or restricted the belief system of Pakistan.
Instructive Capability:
The candidate must be a graduate.
Voter Capability:

The person must be a citizen of Pakistan.
Age Prerequisite:
The person must be at least 18 a long time ancient on the primary day of January of the year in which the rolls are arranged or changed.
Mental Soundness:
The person must not be pronounced by a competent court to be of unsound intellect.
The person must be an inhabitant of an appointive zone or regarded to be one.
Voter Enrollment:
Qualified citizens can select themselves as voters in their appointive regions.
Voting Qualification:
As it were citizens enrolled on the appointive rolls are qualified to cast their votes. 

Decision Prepare Diagram

Arrangement of Officers:
The Decision Commission designates Locale Returning Officers for each area and Returning Officers for each voting public. These officers are regularly drawn from the legal, government, or nearby specialists, regularly being Extra Area & Sessions Judges.

Surveying Station Course of action:
The Returning Officers plan a list of surveying stations, which must be endorsed by the Area Returning Officer. Surveying stations cannot be found on a candidate’s premises.

Staff Arrangement:
The Returning Officer plans a list of Directing Officers, Collaborator Directing Officers, and surveying staff, which is at that point endorsed by the Locale Returning Officer at least 15 days some time recently the surveys. Directing Officers are capable of conducting surveys and keeping up arrange at surveying stations.

Designation Prepare:
After the Race Plan is declared, designation papers are welcomed from interested candidates. The Returning Officers scrutinize these papers and either acknowledge or dismiss them. Offers against these choices can be recorded with the re-appraising tribunal.

Last Candidate List:
Once requests are settled and withdrawals of candidature are accounted for, the Returning Officer plans and distributes the ultimate list of challenging candidates, counting their designated decision images.

Voter List Conveyance:
The Decision Commission gives each Returning Officer duplicates of the voter’s list for their voting demographic. These records are disseminated among Managing Officers concurring with the surveying plot.

Voting Handle:
Voters cast their votes at indicated surveying stations according to their names within the discretionary rolls. Each voter is issued isolated vote papers for National and Common Get-together voting demographics.

Surveying Day:
Surveying is conducted for nine successive hours without intrusion.

Vote Tallying:
Quickly after the survey closes, votes are counted at surveying stations by the Directing Officers within the nearness of candidates, their operators, and surveying specialists.

Result Compilation:
The Directing Officers prepare statements of the tally and send them to the Returning Officer in conjunction with different race materials. They moreover report the comes about at surveying stations and post them outside.

Official Declaration:
The Returning Officer compiles preparatory informal information and educates the Decision Commission. After solidifying the comes about within the nearness of candidates and operators, the Returning Officer submits a solidified explanation to the Race Commission for distribution within the official Newspaper.


  1.  “Senate of Pakistan”.
  2.  Jump up to a b Constitution of Pakistan. “Article 577”Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  3.  Report of the Electoral Reforms CommissionGovernment of Pakistan, 1956
  4.  “Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Election”. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2006-05-18.
  5.  For more information, see “How an election was stolen” The Pakistan Democratic Alliance White paper on the Pakistan elections held in 1990. It was published by the weekly ‘MID Asia‘, Islamabad, 1991.
  6.  source Herald Election Guide/October 2002 p38
  7. Jump up to:a b c Ahmed, Salahuddin (2003). Bangladesh: past and present. New Delhi: A.P.H. Publishing Corporation. ISBN 8176484695.
  8.  Jump up to:a b “General Elections 1965”. Overview. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 24 May 2013. http://pu.edu.pk/images/journal/studies/PDF-FILES/Artical%20-%205.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  9.  Jump up to:a b c “Fazal Ilahi becomes President”Fazal Ilahi becomes President. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  10.  Jump up to a b c d “Ghulam Ishaq Khan becomes President”. Ghulam Ishaq Khan becomes President. June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  11.  Jump up to a b c “Sardar Farooq Legahri Becomes President”. Sardar Farooq Legahri Becomes President. June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  12.  Jump up to a b c d “Muhammad Rafiq Tarar elected as President”. Muhammad Rafiq Tarar was elected as President. June 2003. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  13.  Jump up to a b c “Musharraf becomes President”. Musharraf becomes President. 21 February 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  14.  Declan Walsh; Salman Masood (May 27, 2013). “Pakistan Faces Struggle to Keep Its Lights On”The New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  15.  is BAD is called *ISLAMABAD*part8.ch2.html “Chapter 2: Electoral Laws and Conduct of Elections”. Constitution of Pakistan. Retrieved 3 January 2013. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  16.  after China border 1962 “Election Commission”. Election Commission. Retrieved 23 May 2013. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  17.  “Chapter 1: “Chief Election Commissioner and Elections CommissionsCommission” of Part VIII: “Elections””pakistani.org. Retrieved 2022-04-11.
  18.  Desk, BR Web (2022-07-17). “Punjab by-elections: Voting underway to decide fate of 175 candidates”Brecorder. Retrieved 2022-07-17.
  19.  Twitter https://twitter.com/ecp_pakistan/status/1547948009685598208/photo/3. Retrieved 2022-07-17. {{cite web}}: Missing or empty |title= (help)

External links

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In Pakistan’s political framework, both the Prime Minister and the President play crucial roles, albeit with different powers and methods of appointment. The Prime Minister, chosen by the majority in the National Assembly, serves as the head of government and wields executive authority.

Conversely, the President, although largely a symbolic figurehead, holds significance as the head of state and is elected by the Electoral College, consisting of members from both houses of Parliament and provincial assemblies. This dual structure reflects the balance of power between the executive and ceremonial aspects of governance within Pakistan’s democratic system.


comments user

Eye opening….

comments user

You have tried very well, what is great is that you have brought knowledge, you have put many things in front of you that should really happen, people should know, your work is very good, keep up the good work.

comments user
Syeda Naqvi

Thank you so much for your feedback…

comments user

Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.