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CONSTITUTION OF 1956

CONSTITUTION OF 1956 The Second Constituent Assembly, which first met in 1955, was successful in drafting and promulgating Pakistan’s first constitution The principle of parity, which gave equal representation to East and West Pakistan in the assembly, was adopted as the cornerstone of the new constitution The provinces and states in the western wing of the country were merged to form the One Unit of West PakistanHussain Shaheed Suhrawardhy and Chaudri Muhammad Ali were the principal architects of the constitution Suhrawardhy was responsible for drafting the constitution bill when he was law minister in the Cabinet of Muhammad Ali Bogra But he walked out of the assembly when the bill was put to vote in the National Assembly, proclaiming that East Pakistan’s interests had not been duly protected It was Chaudhri Muhammad Ali, as prime minister, who finally got the Constituent Assembly to pass the constitution bill The constitution came into force on 23 March 1956, and Chaudhri Muhammad Ali became the first chief executive under the new setupThe 1956 constitution created a federal republic in Pakistan with two units, East and West Pakistan The president was to be the head of the republic



He was to be chosen by an electoral college made up of the National and Provincial Assemblies The president was to select the prime minister from among the members of the National Assembly The person most likely to command the confidence of the majority of the assembly members was to be chosen by the president to become prime minister The prime minister was to be the head of the government who, along with his cabinet, was responsible to the National Assembly The National Assembly was to have 300 members, 150 each from East and West Pakistan The provinces were to have a form of cabinet government, similar in all essentials to that provided for the federation The federal court was to be reconstituted as the Supreme Court The chief justice was to be appointed by the president and the other judges also by the president after consultation with the chief justice A judge could be removed by the president, after advice of the National Assembly, with two-thirds of the members concurring The constitution remained in force for only two-and-a-half years Preparations to hold Pakistan’s first general elections were started in early 1958, but the constitution was abrogated on 7 October 1958 by a proclamation issued by President Iskander Mirza

Mirza’s action was forced on him by General Muhammad Ayub Khan, who was commander in chief of the army at that time Twenty days later, on 27 October 1958, Ayub Khan sent Iskander Mirza into exile and became Pakistan’s first military president

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