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The National Assembly of Pakistan Under the 1962 Constitution Author(s): M.

Rashiduzzaman Reviewed work(s): Source: Pacific Affairs, Vol. 42, No. 4 (Winter, 1969-1970), pp. 481-493 Published by: Pacific Affairs, University of British Columbia Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2754129 . Accessed: 26/11/2011 06:19
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of Assembly Pakistan The National the under 1962Constitution


M. Rashiduzzaman
THE
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

of whichfunctioned until the promulgation martiallaw on March 25, body because of its inadequate techniquesof i969, proved an ineffective powers,and its dominanceby the govfinancial its persuasion, insufficient fromWest Pakistanwere the young party. Many of its members ernment of supporters the Ayub regime scionsof upperclass families-theprincipal East Pakistantendedto be middleclassprofessionals, from -while members by frustrated the handicaps lawyers,who were increasingly particularly Even so, the National underwhichtheyhad to workwithinthe Assembly. nationalforumin whichthe views and grievwas the onlytruly Assembly could be expressed. Alances of Pakistan'svarious regionsand interests it to was not responsible thelegislature, was responsive thoughtheexecutive to pressures exerted it. It is the purposeof thisarticleto explorethe role by to of the National Assembly Pakistanunderthe i962 constitution, examof and ine thecomposition its membership, to assesshow farit was effective of control overtheexecutive. in exercizing of of authority theRepublicof The constitution i962 vestedtheexecutive who held The president Pakistanin thepresident.' appointedthe ministers, of cabiThe position members the presidential of office duringhis pleasure. of net in Pakistanmay be comparedwith thatof the members the former to council,who were not responsible the centrallegislaexecutive viceroy's The provision turein British India but could take part in its proceedings.2 of that ministers could take part in the proceedings the House, although facilitated contactbetween theywere not allowed to vote in any division, who represented the members the National Assembly and the ministers of
I968), (Karachi,
2 1

of of Pakistan under constitutioni962, the

up of The Constitution the Islamic Republicof Pakistan (as modified to April I968)
S.31.

did the system, president not requirethe approvalof the National Unlike the American but There was no primeminister, usuallya seniorminister ministers. for Assembly appointing the cabinetacted as leader of the House. Evidently, leader of the House of the presidential and to act as the chiefspokesman for to was expected serveas a substitute a primeminister insidetheNationalAssembly. of thegovernment

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Pacific Affairs
close in helped maintaining liaison were The theexecutive. ministers further of who secretaries, weremembers the by thelegislators parliamentary with Whenminisby and werealsoappointed thepresident. National Assembly and answered questions served secretaries the absent parliamentary were ters Assembly.3 inside National government the ofthe as spokesmen body legislative was the supreme of The NationalAssembly Pakistan of for and regime was constituted a period five Ayub's during ofthecountry The president earlier. unlessdissolved the from dateof theelection years it, and the prorogued Assembly couldalso dissolve subject and summoned of portion if it couldnotbe dissolved theunexpired restrictions: to certain after formal a and than120 days, it couldnotbe dissolved was itsterm less The mostimporhad of of notice impeachment thepresident beenserved. in was of power dissolution that thecaseof on thepresident's restriction tant I20 within to was himself obliged seekre-election thepresident dissolution, dissolution. dateofthe the from days of is the system, legislature independent theexecutive, In a presidential made the of to so it is curious findthatthe i962 constitution Pakistan is system theexecuonly part executive ofthelegislature; in a parliamentary It the as of tive the given power convening wellas dissolving parliament. is was thelegislature very to powerin relation that also evident presidential the of The system. techniques coercing from muchdifferent theAmerican helpfeeling One cannot absent. were executive thelegislature virtually by normal from of the of that result thiswas theoverprotection executive the of criticism itsconduct. having of consisted onlyone house, of Assembly Pakistan The National from college the through electoral of one-half themelected i56 members, The WestPakistan.4 from elected half and EastPakistan theother similarly and period of was legislature a legacy thepre-i958 of creation a unicameral of to implemented avoid the complexities the bicameral was apparently recomof Commission i960 had strongly the although Constitution system, chamber. mended second a Assembly (and also theproto It is interesting notethattheNational (for techniques withall the legislative was vincialassemblies) provided are which norand motions) resolutions, adjournment questions, example, hourof the of system government: first in mally practised a parliamentary memevery and questions; was for sitting utilized putting answering every to to subject cerwas Assembly entitled ask questions berof theNational or onlyto ministers addressed wereusually the tainrestrictions; questions of Sincetheprivilege members. and secretaries notto private parliamentary
3 The usual practice for secretary each of the ministries was to appointone parliamentary of of or divisions thegovernment Pakistan. passed in i967, providedfor 218 members of 4The EighthAmendment the constitution, the equallybetween two wingsof Pakistan. to of the NationalAssembly be distributed

482

under I962 Constitution the National Assembly Pakistan's orvague unnecessary, by irrelevant, asking questions be abused raising may to or that addressed a minister a parquestions, provided a question itwas he with must to affairs which hadbeen liamentary secretary relate public which wasrehe for or or officially connected to a matter administration an or Even was sponsible.5question nottobe vague irrelevant. though A and reveals vague that put examinationthequestions bythemembers of hour of were asked, importance question the irrelevant questions often the part Question wasundoubtedly liveliest of hour cannot minimized. be to for backbenchers the an opportunity legislative anditgave excellent day, attain prominence. is the of of Themain purpose questionstoinfluence course administrawith iran the was tion. Under i962 constitution,legislature saddled the not but influenced could be executive might indirectly which be removable toit. of questions addressed the to were made directly responsible Most the ofthe ofPakistan coveredvariety and a important departments government such proincluding recruitment, ofsubjects, as the armed civil and services, matters; political prisoners transfer, other and allied motion, pension, salary, railand political radio posts telegraphs; and broadcasting; and arrests; and and indusinsurance, banking; foreign ways communication; affairs, and of inthe years disparities. Significantly, later tries; agriculture; regional more disparity allied and questions regional on Ayub's regime, andmore asked. problems being were of was Tablei (p. 484) The privilege asking popular. questions very from in National the of indicates trend questions the Assembly i962 toi969 (February)." from increased of The number starred progressively i962 questions The of trend the toi969,apparentlyclearest ofthis period. number questions the factors: length thesession; of on in theAssembly depended several of at there theintensitypolitical feelings thetime-whenever wasa swing inthe more the harassing questions against government country, andmore the of of and were by members theopposition; volume legislative put and incidence natural of before Assembly; the the calamibusiness financial such and ties, asfloods cyclones. was to resolutions another which The right move important weapon on members bring to Like enabled pressure theadministration. questions, under certain such resolutions alsobe grouped important subjects, as may health welfare, and telegraphs, and and railways, police posts education,
6 Based on data gathered fromthe Summary the WorkDone by the NationalAssembly of by (Rawalpindi: of Pakistanand Summary the BusinessTransacted the NationalAssembly of of Government PakistanPress,publishedfrom I962 to i969). The starredquestionswere could be put on the questions formally asked on the floorof the House and supplementary answers given to them.

I967), rule 39.

of 5Rules of Procedureand Conduct of Business,National Assembly Pakistan (Dacca,

483

Affairs Pacific
TABLE I: NUMBER OF QUESTIONS RECEIVED AND DISPOSED OF BY THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

Session

No. of questions received

No. of questions admitted

No. of questions answered

No. of questions disallowed

No. of questions lapsed /withdrawn/ returned to members

Strd. Unstrd.Strd. Unstrd. Strd. Unstrd. Strd. Unstrd. Strd.Unstrd. Budgetsession, i962 Specialsession, i962 Dacca session (March-April),
i963.
247 25 212

i8

212

i8

31

7
I

4
51

120

10

63

63

946
i963

33
28

587 393 300

I7 I8
I

587 393 300 438 96 230

17 i8

273
I7I

13
10

86
13

3 -

Budget,
I963

577 395 553 358 278 62


1100 -

Dacca (Nov.-Dec.),
2

19
I

4
I 32 213 I

March-April, i964 Budget, i964

438
272

83 49 44

7
6 3
-

6
-

August, i964
Dacca (Jan.), I965
Budget, i965

230 39 774 436 3 829 788 1038 527 1546 885 9,357 78
-

4
I

5 3 3

39 78i 436
829 -

5 3 3
-

1I4

9 44 28
40

248 176
372-

Dacca (March), i966 Budget, i966

828 1365 1418 1746 io8i 2215


2131

Dacca (Nov.-Dec.),
i966.
-

773 988 527 1509 885 9,o86

483 378

19 173 374
-

Budget, i967

Dacca (Winter), i967 Budget,I968


I968 (Dec.)-I969

i8o 6oi
286

68 960

(Feb.) Total

15,420

117

78

3,414

33

2,1 22

and constitutional issues.A jute matters, political grievances, prices, custody it was notbindingon the government; was onlya recommendaresolution to and up tionof thelegislature it was entirely to thegovernment acceptit or were discussedon the floorof the not. In practice, very few resolutions members' resolutions were House; from i962 to i969 as manyas 1933 private moved in the National Assembut admitted, only33 of themwere actually by bly.7The restwere eitherdisallowedby the speakeror withdrawn the It to members concerned. is rather disappointing notethatonly5 resolutions were acceptedby the House in the last sevenyearsof Ayub'sregime.8 Ob7 The relevant figures have been gathered fromSummary the Work Done by the Naof tionalAssembly Pakistan and Summary theBusiness Transacted theNationalAssembly, by of of op. cit. 8 Under the rules, the admitted resolutions were eligible to be raised for discussionby the membersonly on the day allotted for transacting non-official business.In fact there

484

the under I962 Constitution National Assembly Pakistan's


to right move use were members notableto makeeffective oftheir viously, resolutions. for opportunity anothersignificant motionsprovided Adjournment These covthe to of members the Assembly influence administration. but and areasof interest, mostof themdealtwith ered manysubjects on restrictions public leaders, of suchas thearrest political topics sensitive from of refugees the by imposed thegovernment, influx Muslim meetings of blacklisting newsof parts thecountry, in conditions certain famine India, against and political of leaders, lathicharges harassment important papers, get did Only demonstrators. on veryrareoccasions members an student as As motions. many 678suchmotions adjournment to opportunitydiscuss by ruledout of order wereeither the As discussion.9 withresolutions rest on Mostdiscussions adjournby or thespeaker withdrawn themembers. and were motions aimless time-wasting. ment underthe financial powers also The NationalAssembly had certain Assembly to was the Each constitution. year, budget presented theNational the its But, of on minister behalf thepresident. under rules, bythefinance partof only control overthat had of Assembly Pakistan effective National did expenditure Recurrent whichdealtwithnew expenditure. thebudget for demands suchgrants although of the notrequire sanction theAssembly, the divided in fact, in couldbe discussed theHouse.The i962 constitution, was Such a practice prevaportions. and non-votable intovotable budget i92i the from toI947.10 period lent during British were the wereplacedbefore House,members for Whendemands grants askedfor.Such in for to at liberty movemotions reductions theamount discussion. of movedonlyforthe purpose raising wereusually motions and onlyon rare only, amounts werefortoken Mostof thecutsproposed Since thegovernment to pressed a division. weresuchmotions occasions to for it majority, was futile theopposition a enjoyed comfortable always voiceson record. to except put the dissenting to a motion division press beexpenditure of of onlya portion thetotal the arrangement placing grounds. on can for Assembly approval be criticized several fore National the since check thebureaucracy, thegovernment to a it First, gavealmost blank whichconexpenditure, for requireannual sanction recurrent did not gave this Secondly, system of thelion'sshare theannualbudget."1 stituted
could not be discussed were veryfew such days as a resultof whichmostof the resolutions in the House. 9 Ibid. 10See also M. Rashiduzzaman,The Central Legislaturein BritishIndia, 1921-1947 (Dacca, I965). 11 In the i968-69 budget,only about Rs.i87 crores (approximately per cent) were 8 of as shown as new expenditure against a total authorizedexpenditure Rs.24,38 crores. for These data are based on the Schedule of Demands for Grantsand Appropriation the

were receivedfromi962 to i969, but only 42 were actuallyadmittedfor

485

Pacific Affairs of scrutiny by inthe irregularities absence effective for wide scope financial in was strongly argument always The official representatives.'2 theelected It for Assembly. was powers theNational of financial favour restricted projects development country Pakistan like that claimed in a developing Assemof If National be over that require funds spent a number years. the the of year, process money any in the should refuse sanction required to bly would development behindered. under of Thefinancial given the to National AssemblyPakistan power its durenjoyed less system presidential wasmuch than predecessor Ayub's financial A ingthe parliamentary regime.13comparative ofthe study powers of both AssemblyPakistan, of and National ofthe American Congress the reveals that system, were under operating a presidential which legislatures introduced the Although i962 constitution the enjoyed less far power. latter of model the widely the itdiffered from Western features, some presidential Pakistan's presidential between difference The system. striking presidential power financial of was inadequate countries the and of pattern that Western fear power This of Assembly. lack financial wasduetothe that the National ineffective financial Thus, the the would legislature obstruct executive. with role the could play proper ofa deliberaAssembly not the powers, National pleas increased made to its From time time members strong for tive body. the hardly influence that could they powers, because realized they financial a This expenditures. wasindeed frustrating of major portion government of National member the a situation them. Farid for As Ahmed,prominent are expenses con"So Assembly, commented: faras therecurring once ofthis administration counthe for which meant running public are cerned this of Thisis a mockerydemocracy; is this has try, legislature gotnosay. to their of of of mockery theconcept theright thepeople control own does stop and constitution not there."'14 finances the to National under electionsthe Thefirst Assembly thei962 constitution were of year. for with held were inApril that There 6io candidates I56 seats, Basic members elected college 8o,ooo of indirectly theelectoral by being The were on political Democrats. elections fought an individual since basis, the time When newly Assembly National were elected parties atthat banned.
Expenditure the Government Pakistan 1968-69 (Rawalpindi:Government Pakistan of of for of Press, i968) (one crore = io millionand is the equivalentof U.S. $2,o83,333at the currentofficial exchangerate). 12 Some serious came to the noticeof the Public Accounts cases of financial irregularities Committee the Accounts the Government on Committee. Reportof the Public Accounts See of of Pakistan the Years 1962-63, 1963-64, and 1964-65 (Rawalpindi:Government Pakistan for of Press,I967). 13 K. B. Sayeed,The Political System Pakistan(London: Oxford of University Press,i967),
p. I09.

Debates (Official Pakistan NationalAssembly, Reports), JuneI2, i963, p.

329.

486

the under I962 Constitution National Assembly Pakistan's shape any could take definite because affiliations not i962 in met June party were, groupings howInformal political were banned. parties still political group a his Ali Mohammad formed Democratic with claimed formed. ever, On to government.theopsupport the extending of strength41 members, Rahman, led group byMashiur Peoples' was Pakistan side position there the was There alsoan inleaders. of and Ahmed, a number well-known Farid The had which 2I members. Khan Bahadur group dependent ledbySardar Elahi. BariandZahur group Progressive wasledbyMianAbdul Pakistan to did belong who members apparently not there 5 Finally were unattached group.'5 any of in groupings terms political political these to It is difficultdefine for were more countries,they little inWestern are as parties they understood oragainst of government in either support the acting groups than pressure formed the Often groups parties. as behave political itanddidnotalways was but in strengththeHouse, there their claims exaggerated about made a get easily into group One their among members. could norealdiscipline the lines to easier getoutofit.Butparty inside National anditwaseven of after a underwenttransformation thepassage thePolitical Assembly with merged others group Bill Parties in i962. TheDemocratic andseveral a which claimedstrength (Conventionists) then League Muslim Pakistan the the formed opposition.' with (Councillors) io members, League Muslim the of members bias. with continued a provincial EastPakistani groups These Mostof group. pressure a formed miniature each of these"parties" Peoples' of Pakistan were leaders membersthe opposition East the Pakistani attempt There League(Councillors). wasnoserious and Muslim group the the inside National program with parties anynational political toorganize existed. of no members sense unity the Even Assembly. among opposition under Assembly thei962 constituNational Theelections the for second in parties the of were tion heldin March i965.The strengththepolitical
:17 was elections as follows of as National Assembly a result these

by supported group(25 members), Peoples' The of I05 members. Pakistan

Muslim League(Convention) Pakistan party) (government Parliamentary party United Awami National party group Independent Muslim League Council
15 i967), pp. 26i-2.

I29

I4

3 5
I

and Politics (Dacca, Pakistan: A Study of Government See also M. Rashiduzzaman,

Karl Von Vorys,Political Developmentin Pakistan pendentgroup, and 7 Independents. i965), p. 273. (Princeton, of by 17 List of members different politicalpartiescirculated the Secretariat representing

of Front,2 members the Inde16 There were also 6 members the Islamic Democratic of

487

Afairs Pacific routed was tonote the It isinteresting that opposition completely in this was League(Conventionists) Muslim the But election. although Pakistan the roots among people. the it inside House, hadfew very nodoubt strong In among There no regular coordination itsmembers. a presidential was of criticism fairly try of legislaturetooffer objective the system, membersthe to seemed But the of administration. Conventionists tooready the policies the whatwithout criticism administration any of Ayub the approve policies the much reduced was opposition very the soever. the At same time, sizeofthe ineffective. andassuch wasutterly it members level the It is worthwhile analysing ageandeducational ofthe from ofthe The ofthe National Assembly. agedistribution members East table is in following :18 elected i962andi965 shown the Pakistan in andWest
TABLE 2: AGE OF MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTED AND

I965

IN

i962

EastPakistan

West Pakistan I962


35

Age 4oandbelow 41to 49 above 50 and Total

I962
25

I965
I7

I965
3I

2I 22 12 30 28 i8 19 36 known) known) not (8 notknown) not known) (2 not (5 (3

to members beenreturned have It appears comparatively younger that from Pakistan. inferences however, Some may, the National Assembly West As will in of this be made about trend thepattern membership. be shown were preAssembly still the of National Pakistani membersthe later, West were members mostly the whereas EastPakistani landlords, dominantly in The landed and of traditional gentry East lawyers businessmen. hold the are predomifamilies still away, feudal withered but Pakistan practically has West. hasbeen It found life nent the in social, and economic, political ofthe Pakistan belonged aristocrato that most the of young members West from Pirs and of (rulers) the leaders), Amirs ticfamilies landlords, (religious of that Pakistan the States. cannot feeling in West One former help Princely very social eminence easily acquired families wards theleading of young much without them elected fortunes helped get which the through inherited it social in In the a of difficulty. absence such privileged class EastPakistan, atwaseasier for persons had already who and only middle-aged elderly members tained ofbecoming the some eminence earn distinction to social
in MuslimLeague (Conthe NationalAssembly Julyi968. All the partiesexceptthe Pakistan to vention) combinedtogether form the oppositionon the floorof the House, although viewsoutsidethe Assembly. theyhad different and Politicsin Pakistan (Karachi, I963), p. 18Based on Mushtaq Ahmed, Government of the legislators) (Dacca, i968). 272, and Nuruzzaman,Who's Who (an account

488

or from politics died,and there before I958 had by i965 retired prominent shoes.'9 into had sonsor closerelations stepped their that is evidence their

under i962 Constitution the Assembly National Pakistan's of members alsobe may The Assembly. influx younger oftheNational who factors. many theelderly of politicians were First, toother attributed

take man of even systemelection a young could under indirect Secondly, the a tohave necessary since elected itwasnolonger himself a chance getting at a party political ornurse constituency with particular longassociation any a for long time. atis must taken account theeducational be into factor which Another a contained The Assembly of legislature. National ofmembersthe tainments In assemblies.20 than graduates theprovincial of number university higher and had degrees in thesecond thefirst Assembly,members university 9i ofthe The attainments memthere 93 Assembly were graduates. educational in following Assemblies shown the are of first National bers the andsecond
:21 tables
TABLE 3: EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND OF THE MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY ELECTED IN i962 AND

i965.

EastPakistan
i962 i965 58

West Pakistan
i962 36 i965 35

Graduate and Matriculation andabove gradu(below Below matriculation ate) above

55

4
10

IO
5

I5 I5

20

I4

Total

69 66 73 69 known) not not known) notknown)(I2 not (9 known) (9 (5

level the First, education trends bededuced this from table. Twoclear may the Secondly, educawas of theNational members increasing. Assembly than were members higher their ofthe tional attainments EastPakistani West Pakistani colleagues. is point one Assembly vital In analysing composition National ofthe the (Table4).ofits theassessment occupational ofthe background members
19This impression gatheredfromthe biographical of sketches the MNAs publishedin is sources. published and thenewspapers other 20 In the East Pakistan Assembly therewere only 53 graduatesamong i55 members. Press,i968). Based on Short Li/e Sketchesof M.P.A.s (Dacca: East PakistanGovernment 21 Based on Ahmed,op. cit. and Nuruzzaman,op. cit. 22 Ahmed,op. cit.

489

Pacificflairs
TABLE

4:

OCCUPATIONAL

BACKGROUND ELECTED

OF THE NATIONAL AND

ASSEMBLY

MEMBERS

IN i962

i965

East Pakistan
i962 i965

WestPakistan
i962 i965

Lawyers

Business and Landholders


Miscellaneous industry

31
23 I2

30
20

i6 58 3
I9

II

I7

(2 notknown)

I9

Io
32

(3notknown)

i8

under the stilldominated NationalAssembly and thelandlords The lawyers was of The predominance lawyers did as thenew system they undertheold.23 verymuch apparentamong the membersfromEast Pakistan.The only in of striking pattern membership i962 and i965 was the increasedrepreof system election, Under the indirect and industry. frombusiness sentation who and industrialists did not have a politicalfollowing even businessmen oftendared to take a chanceat the polls,becausethe size of the electorate for necessary a candidateto have was manageableand it was not therefore to continued domilandlords In following.24 West Pakistan, a largepolitical in to nate the politicalscene.It is reasonable concludethatmembership the socialclasses. narrow to was NationalAssembly stillconfined certain inside of The attitude thelawyer-politicians thepost-i965NationalAssemtheywerethemost and blywas verymuchthesame as before, undoubtedly to resistance all attempts who provided it element: was thelawyers articulate it in freedom thecountry; was thelawpolitical to of theexecutive suppress of of for yerswho fought thepreservation theruleof law and therestoration and not to and privileges the people; it was the lawyers, rights democratic opwho were mostvocal. Distinguished of themembers otheroccupations, positionleaders such as Nurul Amin, Farid Ahmed, Dr. Alim-al-Razi, It and Shah Azizur Rahman,belongedto the legal profession. was around who were was keptalive and it was the lawyers thatopposition the lawyers gravity. of the able to shift centre political They was, on the whole, predictable. of The attitude the businessmen policysuitedthem. the whenever government's were with the government when any step by the governwith the opposition They at once identified Mostof them community. of mentwentagainsttheinterests thecommercial and the werejust not vocal.They were ordinarily silentbackbenchers often
23 See also Talukder Maniruzzaman, in "Group Interests PakistanPolitics,I947-I958," Vol. Affairs, XXXIX (I966), pp. 83-4. Pacific "IndirectElections on information this point see also M. Rashiduzzaman, 24For further I968), pp. 326-36. fur in Pakistan," Zeitschrift Politik(September

49O

the under 1962 Constitution National Assembly Pakistan's from The prestige. landlords West only for stood election to earnsocial in element the as a themselves progressive to were Pakistan unable present suggests ofother representation professions and Assembly, theinadequate of Employees government into to were reluctant move politics. that they election. seeking from were organizations barred andofsemi-government were of number professions repreonly circumstances,a limited these Under inPakistan. in legislatures sented the and with limited powers Assembly, its how was National Finally, far the and it less Althoughenjoyed power position inits effective role? privileges, the resystem under parliamentary inPakistan, fact than legislature the the reof the where views various forum national that mains it wastheonly deliberItwas only expressed. the national could and gions interests befreely could that policies be floor this of House public and body, itwasonthe ative made Assembly members theNational of Enterprising at discussed length. incapable although The use position. opposition, thebest possible oftheir All the did the ofdislodging executive, notspare government.newspapers on their focused attention theNational in parties thecountry andpolitical were to correspondents sent cover Special when Assembly itwasinsession. the what Assembly the through press learned and itsproceedings, people not must be minimized. forum as Its wasdoing. importancethenational justification the important of produces most The ventilationgrievances of that It hasalready shown members the been Assembly. ofthe neglected of didbring innumerable by grievancesmeans quesup National Assembly were matters motions. ordinary Even and resolutions, adjournment tions, Adin the of of government form questions. notice the tothe alsobrought also inexpendituresprovided for and motions motions reductions journment the Although of House. tobring on floor the opportunities upgrievancesthe censure administhe it could could unseat government, not the legislature to ministershavea fresh could oblige Even question tration. an ordinary secretaries parliamentary between a dormant Personal contact file. lookat could on members theother and ministers theonehand individual on or but members also opposition Not leadtogrievances settled. only being also Often of the tried ofthe supporters government tosecure redress grievances. at pronot could be redressedthe which measures ithappened certain that whose government, of level to vincial were brought thenotice thecentral offices settle matter. might the good considering of most itstime spent of Assembly Pakistan The National the powers, Nathe wide enjoyed legislative Although president legislation.25
25 From i962 to i969 (February),the National Assemblysat for 465 days of which Out of the totalnumber governbusiness. of government 396 days were spentin transacting the budget; the rest were taken up ment days, only 89 days were utilized for discussing

49I

Pacific Affairs tional Assembly's authority definitely was greater.26 a billwasdrafted Once it hadto go through certain formal procedures: introduction, and debate, amendment. Some bills created and muchinterest were extensively of amended.27 National of The Assembly Pakistan a goodnumber had lawyers could who bills make valuable contributions in improving introduced thegovernment. theright move by In fact, to amendments an was important weapon thehands members. number amendments in of The of accepted the on floor the of House on strengththe of greatly depended the ofthe supporters motion. thegovernment enjoyed absolute Since an party majority i962, it was notpossible opposition from for members carry to through substantial any amendments. the But consideration instandofbills ingandselect committees some gave scope theopposition.28 select to The committee appointed particular consisted members on bills of representingdifferent andthe parties, deliberations committees sometimes ofthe were valuable.29It easier thecommittees was for toconsider legislative proposals in an atmosphere from free party influence. although National Thus, the Assembly notcapable controllingdislodging executive, was of or the it could nevertheless influence course administration.30government the of The was sensitive thecriticism theopposition eager explain to of and to its to opposition policies the leaders. To sum the up, effectiveness National ofthe AssemblyPakistan of under the factors. the i962 constitutionlimited several was of by First, systemindirect for House animportant elections toinspire failed enough respect the as since institution itdidnot the a genuine political give members feeling that the the they represented people directly.Y Secondly, National Assembly's
Based on Summary the WorkDone by the NationalAssembly with legislative business. of of Pakistan, cit. op. 26 From 1962 to 1969 as many as 107 government bills were passed by the National Assembly. Ibid. of 27Examples are the PoliticalPartiesBill, 1962; the Censorship Films Bill, 1963; the (Amendment)Bill, 1963; the Wealth and Rehabilitation) Displaced Persons (Compensation of Tax Bill, 1963; the DecorationsBill, 1965; the Security PakistanBill, 1965; the Anti(Amendment)Bill, 1966; the Bill, 1965; the Transfer Property of Corruption Amendment Legal Practitioners Bar Councils(Amendment)Bill, 1966; the ElectoralCollege (Amendand Bill, 1968. ment) Bill, 1967; and the PrivyPurses (Charged Expenditures) 28 There was one standing otherthan the minister of committee (consisting six members or secretary) attachedto each ministry divisionof the government and the parliamentary of Pakistanwhich considered bills coveredby its jurisdiction. all modified the lightof recommendations in 29The Antiquities Bill, 1967 was substantially on on made by the StandingCommittee Education.Reportof the StandingCommittee EduBill, 1967. cationon the Antiquities in 30The positionis identicalwith the centrallegislature BritishIndia under the Govinfluence courseof administration. the of ernment India Act, i9i9. It could only indirectly 31 In the wake of great politicalmovements the country which startedin December in 1968, 4 membersbelongingto the oppositionresignedfrom the National Assemblyin one 'he February 1969. In explaining reasonsforhis resignation, of themsaid thathe would of go back to the House "as the elected representative the people." Pakistan Observer, February i969. I3,

492

the under 1962 Constitution National Assembly Pakistan's power. of in not could be enhanced theabsence effective status political the party of strength thegovernment inside Thirdly, overwhelming the members. among pessimism opposition induced Assembly National of AssemblyPakisof National survey working the Thepreceding ofthe as the sustains executive parliament A modern of tanis nota story success. any did play ofPakistan not Assembly National it. well controls Butthe as toit. was responsible Therole the because executive not process in part this under ofPakistan development political in oftheNational Assembly the forum as it twofold: served theall-Pakistan for Khanwastherefore Ayub the tried and theventilation ofgrievances, itpersistently todilute authorithe under i962 constitution. ofthe character executive tarian of UniversityDacca,May1969

493