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CONSTITUTIONAL

DEVELOPMENT OF PAKISTAN
(1947-56)
DR. KHALID MANZOOR BUTT

Dr. Khalid Manzoor Butt

Introduction

The English came to India for trading


purposes but they exploited the weaknesses
of Indian people and got administrative
control of the whole Sub-continent.
The British government introduced different
legislative Acts in different times in order to
give representation to the Indian people in
government affairs.
The Government of India Act 1935 was a
comprehensive written constitution given to
India by its colonial masters.

Continued

Under the provisions of the Indian


Independence Act 1947, the Government
of India Act 1935 became with certain
adaptations, the working constitution of
Pakistan.

The Pakistan ( Provisional Constitutional)


Order, 1947 established the federation of
Pakistan.

The Interim Constitution:


Government of India Act 1935

The polity of India was reconstituted on a federal bases,


although the constitution of India was unitary and the
provincial governments derived their powers by
devolution from the central government and discharge
their functions under the direction and control of the
Governor-General. The Act, thus, created the
federation.
Partial responsibility in the form of diarchy at the center
was introduced.
The provinces were granted autonomy and responsible
government.
The Governor-General of India and the Governors of the
provinces were granted extensive powers by way of
safeguards, reservations, special responsibilities etc.

The First Constituent Assembly

According to the Independence Act of 1947, a


Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was formed
for the purpose of framing up the constitution
of Pakistan.
Quaid-e-Azam was elected as president of the
Constituent Assembly.
The Constituent Assembly was given two
separate functions: to prepare a constitution
and to act as the federal legislative assembly of
Pakistan until such time that a constitution
came into effect but it failed to produce a
constitution for the country.

Basic Principles Committee and


Objectives Resolution

The Constituent Assembly set-up several committees


and sub-committees to carry out its task of framing a
constitution. Among these was the Basic Principles
Committee, the most important one.
On March 12th, 1949, the Constituent Assembly passed
an Objectives Resolution enunciating the principles on
the bases of which the constitution was to be framed.
The Objectives Resolution was the first step in
preparing the constitution and is accepted as the
corner stone of the new constitution.
In the Objectives Resolution, Islamic principles were
introduced and they remained the preamble of every
constitution of Pakistan.

Continued

It was the task of Basic Principle Committee


to report in accordance with the Objectives
Resolution on the main principles of the
future constitution.
The Basic Principles Committee submitted
its interim report on September 7, 1950 and
its final report in December 1952.
The first report of the Basic Principle
Committee
was
severely
criticized
particularly in East Pakistan.

Muhammad Ali Bogra Formula

The Basic Principles Committee by Prime Minister


Nazim-ud-Din in 1952 came under severe criticism
especially in the Punjab.
Muhammad Ali Bogra was appointed Prime Minister and
was successful in achieving a compromise on the issue
of representation between East and West Pakistan in the
federal legislature.
Bogra Formula was presented to the Constituent
Assembly on October 7, 1953 and adopted by it on
October 6, 1954.
According to Bogra Formula, the distribution of seats in
the two houses was made in such a way as to ensure
parity between East and West Pakistan. Each zone got
175 seats.

Dissolution of First Constituent


Assembly

When the constitutional issues at last


settled,
Governor-General
Ghulam
Muhammad fearing of assemblys action in
curtailing
his
powers,
dissolved
the
Constituent Assembly on October 24, 1954.
Molvi
Tamizuddin
challenged
this
unconstitutional Act of Governor-General
and the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court
decided the case in favour of Tamizuddin.
The entire constitutional set-up was shaken
because of this unconstitutional Act.

Second Constituent Assembly

The Federal Court unanimously declared


that the task of framing a constitution had to
be performed by a Constituent Assembly.
The Second Constituent Assembly was
formed in May 1955.
It passed first all the laws passed by the First
Constituent Assembly and was declared by
the court null and void.
It, then, passed Act of One Unit merging all
the provinces of West Pakistan into One Unit.

One Unit Scheme

Chaudhry Muhammad Ali became the PM


of Pakistan and he promised to give new
constitution.
The task of making constitution was
difficult because of differences of
population in both the provinces and
conflict over the division of seats in
Assemblies.
Chaudhry Muhammad Ali introduced the
scheme of One Unit in 1955 in which all
the four provinces of West Pakistan were

First Constitution of Pakistan 1956

The Second Constitution Assembly was finally


successful in fulfilling the mission of giving the
country a constitution.
The greatest obstacle in the way of constitution
making was internal power politics.
On January 8, 1956, the draft constitution was
presented to the country which with certain
changes and amendments was finally adopted
on February 29, 1956.
It was enforced on March 23, 1956.