This article presents a comparative analysis of the constitutions of Pakistan promulgated at different times under different rulers.
The first constitution was promulgated in 1956, the second in 1962, and the third and current constitution in 1973. As per the date of their promulgation, they are called the 1956 constitution, the 1962 constitution, and the 1973 Constitution respectively.
The 1956 Constitution lasted only for a couple of years and a few months as the then-president Iskandar Mirza abrogated it by imposing the first Martial Law in the country. After four years of his rule, Field Marshal Ayub Khan introduced the 1962 Constitution which remained enforced as long as he was in power.
When Bhutto came to power in 1971, his government promulgated the 1973 constitution with the complete consent of the opposition parties. Despite military coups and a number of amendments by military rulers, the 1973 constitution stills act as the constitution of Pakistan.
Comparison of all three constitutions of Pakistan
Following are the similarities and differences found among all three constitutions framed and promulgated in the country at different times under different rulers.
1. Similarities among the constitutions
All the three constitutions of 1956, 1962, and 1973 provided:
- only a Muslim would be the head of the state and the executive;
- legislation in alignment with Islamic laws and repealing of laws repugnant to Islam;
- Objectives Resolution 1949 as part of the preamble;
- elections on basis of Universal suffrage and;
- that Pakistan would be named the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
2. Differences among 1956, 1962, and 1973 constitutions