The Constitution of 1956 – The First Constitution of Pakistan:
Muhammad Ayub Khan abrogated the 1956 Constitution (The First Constitution of Pakistan) and enforced Martial Law in the country in 1958. He became the head of the state. In the 1956 Constitution, A parliamentary form of government was introduced Where Prime Minister is the head of the State.
As a new constitution was required to run the country, the 1962 constitution came into existence which introduced the Presidential form of Government. But this form of Government failed as the arose a political crisis in the country which led to the abrogation of the 1962 constitution.
The third constitution, the 1973 constitution, was enforced on the 14th of August 1973, introducing a parliamentary form of Government. Here we are discussing the salient features of the 1956 constitution of Pakistan.
Related Post: Salient Features of 1973 Constitution of Pakistan
Salient Features of 1956 Constitution of Pakistan:
Following are the salient features of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.
1). Written Constitution:
The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was a written constitution, which consisted of 234 Articles, 13 parts, and 6 Schedules.
The preamble of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was based on objective resolution.
3). Partly Rigid Partly Flexible:
The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was partly rigid and partly flexible. It means that it could be amended according to changing circumstances.
4). Islamic Republic:
The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan provided that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic Country.
5). Parliamentary form of Government:
The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan provided a Parliamentary form of Government. The prime minister was the head of the Government, and all the cabinet members were chosen from the Parliament. The members of the cabinet were accountable to the Parliament collectively.
Federalism was provided by the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.
7). Checks and Balances:
Unlike British practice, the President under the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan was not a nominal head of state. A system of checks and balances was introduced in the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.
8). Fundamental Rights:
The 1956 Constitution of Pakistan also provided fundamental rights. The Supreme Court was responsible for the enforcement and could declare any law or order null and void if it was against fundamental rights.
The 1956 Constitution was unicameral. The Parliament consisted of only one house which was known as National Assembly.
10). Judicial Review:
The 1956 Constitution provided Judicial review too. The Court could declare null and void any law which was against the Constitution.
11). Islamic Provisions:
Sovereignty belongs to Allah and no law should be made against Islam.
12). National Languages:
The 1956 Constitution also provided that Bengali and Urdu were National Languages.
13). Independence of Judiciary:
The 1956 Constitution also provided the independence of the judiciary where the judges were appointed by the head of state. They could be removed only through impeachment.
14). Three Lists Relating to the Distribution of Powers:
Three lists were provided for the distribution of powers between the Centre and the Province.
i). Federal List:
The Centre was authorized to legislate on all matters which were enumerated in the federal legislative list.
ii). Provincial List:
The provincial legislature was authorized to legislate on all matters given in the provincial legislative list.
iii). Concurrent List:
The parliament and the Provincial legislative were authorized to legislate on matters given in the concurrent legislative list.
It is concluded that on March 23, 1956, the 1956 constitution of Pakistan was adopted and enforced. It declared Pakistan a country like the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Some salient features of the 1956 constitution of Pakistan are – written, flexible, parliamentary, unicameral, and fundamental rights, etc,
Frequently Asked Questions:
The Mian features of the 1956 constitution of Pakistan were the Federal system and the division of power between the center and provinces. It had three lists; The Federal list, the Provincial list, and the Concurrent list.
Muhammad Ayub Khan abrogated the 1956 Constitution and enforced Martial Law in the country on October 7, 1958. It has a life of 2 years 4 months and 19 days.
Pakistan was declared the Islamic Republic in the 1956 constitution of Pakistan.
It had 234 articles, 13 parts, and 6 schedules.