Constitution

Pakistan has a written constitution in the form of a basic document called ‘Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973‘. Like any other written constitution in the world, it lays down the basic rules, rights, obligations and powers of different organs and institutions of the state and citizens of the state. It is therefore the supreme law of the state of Pakistan.

The constitution of Pakistan creates a Federal Republic known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and it provides for a parliamentary form of government with a President elected by the members of both Houses of Parliament (i.e National Assembly and Senate) and the Provincial Assemblies, and a Cabinet of Minsters headed by a Prime Minster to be appointed by the President. The executive powers of the state are exercised by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is collectively responsible to the National Assembly. The President is the head of state, while the Prime Minister is the head of government.

Under the 1973 Constitution, several fundamental rights have been granted to the citizens of Pakistan, including security of person, safeguards as to arrest and detention, prohibition of slavery and forced labour, freedom of movement, freedom of association, freedom of speech, freedom to profess religion and safeguards to religious institutions, non-discrimination in respect of access to public places and in services, preservation of languages, script and culture. The courts in Pakistan are legally and constitutionally obliged to protect these rights of the citizens.