BS IT (AF)
Table of Contents
2. Constitutional Development
3. Concept of a Federation
3.1 Distribution of Powers
3.3 Residuary Subjects
4. 1973 Constitution and Concurrent Legislative List
5. Recent Political Developments in Pakistan
6. Conclusions and likely future scenarios
Autonomy for self governance and political representation surfaced as core demands of the people of the Indian subcontinent led by a cadre of western educated nationalist leaders like Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah in the 1930’s. In response to those demands, the Government of India Act 1935 was promulgated which granted limited autonomy to the provinces and special regions of united India under the British empire. The Act provided for the Governor to be the executive head of the province on behalf of His Majesty through Article 49 (1). Article 59 mandated the Governor to conduct the affairs of the province in his discretion but, after due consultation with his ministers. The Act through Article 100 (1-3) and the seventh schedule also elaborated three detailed legislative lists; Federal, Provincial and Concurrent.
The proponents of provincial autonomy at that time and the Sindhi Nationalists to-date argue that some provinces of united India felt constrained even after the promulgation of Government of India Act 1935 and expected to gain more autonomy by joining Pakistan. Hence, provincial autonomy was the actual driving force in the partition of India.1
Pakistan came into being on the 14th of August 1947 as the largest Islamic country of the world, after the landslide victory of All India Muslim League in the 1946 elections. The creation of Pakistan was based on the religious ideology of Islam and the concept of two-nation theory advocating that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations and Muslims being a minority should be entitled to an exclusive geographic unit where they can freely practice their religion. The primary argument provided for amalgamation of Muslim majority areas into one country at the time of partition and afterwards was the common religious belief i.e Islam. However, the Lahore Resolution of 1940, which was the basis for the creation of Pakistan, did also recognize the fact that Pakistan would be a combination of various autonomous regions of British India2.
The new country comprised of two geographical units, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and West Pakistan separated by a distance of more than a thousand miles. In the 1970 General Elections the Awami League of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman won all but two seats in the East Pakistan consequently gaining an overall majority in the Parliament. The West Pakistan dominated military cancelled the scheduled parliamentary session and refused to hand over the power to the majority party.3 The East Pakistan separated in 1971 due to the denial of provincial autonomy, domination of West Pakistan’s civil and military bureaucracy and administrative challenges related to the geographic detachment.
Pakistan at present is a country of more than 165 million people, land area of 796,095 square kilometers bordering India, China, Iran, Afghanistan, and narrowly separated from Central Asia. The Federation comprises of four Provinces, Punjab, Sindh, North Western Frontier Province (NWFP), Balochistan and the special regions of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Gilgit-Baltistan, Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The Provinces and federally administered autonomous regions are largely multi-ethic and multi-lingual. The most populated province is Punjab with 56 percent of the total population.
The system of government is parliamentary with a bi-cameral legislature, Senate and the National...
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