Parliamentary System and Framing of the 1973 Constitution: Contest between Government and Opposition inside the National Assembly

  • Rahat Zubair Malik


It is generally believed that the Constitution of 1973 was passed unanimously by the parliament of Pakistan and was equally acceptable for all the federating units. While studying the processes of the approval of the said constitution inside the assembly, it becomes evident that the reality was quite different. There exists an argument that most of the Opposition members were not allowed to join the parliament’s session while the final approval of the constitution was processed. The present paper is an effort to analyse the developments that took place inside the National Assembly to pass this document which was to serve as the fundamental document of the state system in forthcoming years. In other words, the present article analyses the course of action through which the Constitution was framed. This is an analytical study primarily based on the National Assembly debates supported by the secondary sources, biographies, and autobiographies of the contemporary politicians to understand how far the amendments suggested by the then opposition were accommodated by the ruling party. Furthermore, this paper analyses the reasons for which each government has to amend the basic structure of the constitution to make it more practical and acceptable for its units. For instance the Eighteenth Amendment removed the concurrent list of the constitution but now the following governments are facing issues to implement the Amendment in detail.