Constitutional Amendments!

The coat of arms of Pakistan displays the nati...

Constitution of Pakistan has been amended seventeen times since its promulgation in 1973; however the ninth and eleventh amendment bills were not passed. The importance of legislation is incontestable; it is the prerogative of parliament to set the rules of business but does it make any difference for a commoner either President has more power or Prime Minister. What matters for him is good governance, availability of basic needs with in affordable price. 

Below are all amendments in a summarized form 1974 onwards…

First Amendment May 04, 1974

  • Article 1 – Amendment revised units, provinces and territories of the federation
  • Article 17 – Amendment allowed citizens other than those in service of Pakistan to form political party and every political party to account for the source of its funds by law.

This amendment had become necessary as East Pakistan had emerged as a new independent state “Bangladesh” and Pakistan had officially recognized it.

Second Amendment September 17, 1974

  • Article 106 – Quadiani group or the Lahori group (who call themselves ‘Ahmadis’)” was declared minorities.
  • Article 260 – the definition of a Muslim was made part of constitution which is, ” A person who does not believe in the absolute and unqualified finality of The Prophet hood of MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), the last of the Prophets or claims to be a Prophet, in any sense of the word or of any description whatsoever, after MUHAMMAD (Peace be upon him), or recognizes such a claimant as a Prophet or religious reformer, is not a Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution or law.”

Third Amendment February 13, 1975

  • Article 10, 232 – the amendment addressed the issues of preventative custody by curtailing the rights of detainee and by conferring more powers for detaining authority.

Fourth Amendment November 21, 1975

  • Articles 8, 17, 19, 51, 54, 106, 199, 271, 272, 273, First schedule and Fourth Schedule. The amendment added 6 reserved seats in National Assembly, curtailed the powers of High Courts for cases related to preventative detainment, Land reforms, economic reforms and several regulations promulgated by President prior to Constitution were made part of constitution.

Fifth Amendment September 16, 1976

  • Articles 101, 160, 175, 179, 180, 187, 192, 195, 196, 199, 200, 204, 206, 212, 260, 280 and First Schedule. The amendment established the rules for appointment of Governors, Chief Justices and the discretionary powers of the High Courts and Supreme Courts, abolished joint High Court of Sind and Baluchistan, constituted separate high court for each province.

Sixth Amendment December 13, 1976

  • Articles 179, 195, 246, 260 – The Amendment extended the appointment of the Chief Justices of Supreme Courts and High Courts beyond their retirement age limit for when they have not completed the term of office.

Seventh Amendment May 16, 1977

  • Articles 101, 245 – New Article 96 A inserted which was supposed to stay in force till September 30, 1977 Amendment suggested to hold a referendum to seek vote of confidence for the Prime Minister by General Public.

Eighth Amendment November 9, 1985

  • Articles 48, 51, 56, 58, 59, 60, 75, 91, 101, 105, 106, 112, 116, 130, 144, 152 A, 270 A and addition of new Schedule, the Sixth Schedule, The constitution restored to the position of July 5, 1977 with amendment which conferred the powers upon the President to nominate Prime Minister, appointing the services chiefs, other key state positions and dissolve the National Assembly and Governors could dissolve provincial assemblies.

Ninth Amendment Bill 1985 (It was not passed and still remains a bill)

  • In consonance with the provisions of Article 2 and 227 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which respectively offer that Islam shall be the State religion of Pakistan and that all laws shall be brought in conformity with the Injunctions of Islam, as also the Objectives Resolution, this Bill seeks to amend Articles 2, 203B and 203D of the Constitution so as to provide that the Injunctions of Islam shall be the supreme law and source of guidance for legislation and policy making and to empower the Federal Shariat Court to make recommendations for bringing the fiscal laws and laws relating to the levy and collection of taxes in conformity with the said injunctions.

Tenth Amendment March 25, 1987

  • Articles 54 and 61 Amendment curtailed the working days of National Assembly and the Senate from 160 to 130 per year.

Eleventh Amendment Bill 1989 (It was withdrawn by the movers.)

  • Article 51 the amendment bill was moved in Senate suggesting the restoration of 20 Women Seats in the National Assembly. It was withdrawn by the movers after government assurance.

Twelfth Amendment July 28, 1991

  • New Article inserted: 212 B Provisions amended: Fifth Schedule. Amendment allowed constitution of special courts for heinous crimes as well as increase the salaries of Judges.

Thirteenth Amendment April 3, 1997

  • Article 58, 101, 112, 243 – Amendment was to withdraw Eighth Amendment powers of the President and Governors to dissolve National and Provincial assemblies, the Prime Minister was conferred the powers to appoint Services Chiefs and other key position.

Fourteenth Amendment July 3, 1997

  • New Article inserted 63A Amendment to provide disqualification of a member of Parliamentary party on the ground of defection, floor crossing, abstaining or refraining from vote or voting against the party policy.

Fifteenth Amendment August 28, 1998

  • Insertion of Article 2B in view of the fact that the Objectives Resolution is now substantive part of the Constitution, it is necessary that Quran and Sunnah are declared to be the supreme law of Pakistan, and the Government is empowered to take necessary steps to enforce Shariah.

Sixteenth Amendment August 5, 1999

  • Insertion of Article 27 which safeguards against discrimination in services, Quota system was extended till 2013.

Seventeenth Amendment August 21, 2002

  • New Article Inserted 41, 58, 112, 152A, 179, 195, 243, 268 and 270AA Amendments were made to the constitution for the approval of Gen. Musharraf to stay President in uniform, his coup on October 12, 1999 and inclusion of the Legal Framework Order (LFO) into the constitution which empowered President again.

Eighteenth Amendment April 19, 2010

  • Articles amended or substituted 1, 6, 17, 25, 27, 29, 38, 41, 46, 48, 51, 58, 59, 61, 62, 63, 63A, 71, 73, 75, 89, 90, 91, 92, 99, 100, 101, 102, 104, 105, 106, 112, 116, 122, 127, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 139, 140, 142, 143, 144, 147, 149, 154, 155, 156, 157, 160, 161, 167, 168, 170, 171, 172, 175, 177, 193, 194, 198, 199, 200, 203, 203D, 209, 213, 215, 216, 218, 219, 221, 224, 226,228, 232, 233, 234, 242, 243, 260, 268, 270A, 270AA, 270B
  • Articles inserted 10A, 19A, 25A, 140A, 175A, 267A, 267B, 270BB
  • Articles omitted 71 and Omission of sixth and seventh schedule
  • Summary: Parliament declared the 17th Amendment to the Constitution and the Legal Framework Order (LFO) given by a dictator as without any legal authority. NWFP renamed as ‘Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa’. Good Governance by restricting the size of the Cabinet in to 11 per cent of the members of Parliament and respective Provinces. Four seats, one from each province, to be allocated in the Senate for the minorities to increase their strength. Education to each child up to the age of 16 years made compulsory. Formation of the council of common interests revised with prime minister as its chairman. The council should meet at least once in 90 days besides abolition of the Concurrent List. Prime Minister shall keep the president informed on all matters of internal and foreign policy and on all legislative proposals the federal government intends to bring before the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament). President could use the power of dissolution of the National Assembly when a vote of no-confidence having been passed against the prime minister, no other member of the National Assembly commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, as ascertained in a session of the National Assembly for the purpose. For the determination of his civil rights and obligations or in any criminal charge against him, a person shall be entitled to a fair trial and due process. Under-representation of any class or area in the service of Pakistan may be redressed in such manner as may be determined by an act of Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament). Restriction imposed on the attorney general for doing private practice. Inexpensive and expeditious justice should be ensured to the people as also the right of access to information without any hurdle. The prime minister shall, in consultation with the leader of the opposition in the National Assembly, forward three names for appointment of the Chief Election Commissioner to a parliamentary committee for hearing and confirmation of any one person. The parliamentary committee, to be constituted by the speaker, shall comprise 50 per cent from the opposition parties, based on their strength in Parliament to be nominated by the respective parliamentary leaders. In case there is no consensus between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition, each shall forward separate lists to the parliamentary committee for consideration, which may confirm one name. The total strength of the parliamentary committee shall not exceed 12 members out of which one-third shall be from the Senate. Provided that when the National Assembly is dissolved and a vacancy occurs in the office of the chief election commissioner, the parliamentary committee shall comprise the members of the Senate only. There shall be no restriction on the number of terms for the offices of the prime minister and chief ministers. Prime minister would advise the president on appointment of the chairman of the chiefs of staff committee and chiefs of three armed forces. The Senate shall consist of 104 instead of 100 members with the addition of one minority member from each province. Working days of the Senate have been increased from 90 to 110. Restriction on a person who has been dismissed from the service of Pakistan, service of a corporation or office set up or controlled by the federal government or the provincial government on ground of misconduct has been lifted. According to this amendment, a person could be elected as MP, three or five years after dismissal from the service. A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of parliament if he has been dismissed from the service of Pakistan or service of a corporation or office set up or, controlled, by the federal government, the provincial government or a local government on ground of misconduct, unless a period of five years since his removal or dismissal; or unless a period of three years has elapsed since his removal or compulsory retirement. The restriction on a person being elected as member of parliament, who has been convicted by a court of competent jurisdiction for propagating any opinion, or acting in any manner, prejudicial to the ideology of Pakistan, or the sovereignty, integrity or security of Pakistan, or integrity or independence of the judiciary of Pakistan, or which defames or bring into ridicule the judiciary or the armed forces of Pakistan, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release. Chairman of the Federal Public Service Commission would be appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister. Similarly, chairmen of the provincial public service commissions would be appointed by the governors on the advice of chief ministers. Proclamation of emergency in the province due to internal disturbances would require a resolution from the provincial assembly. If the president acts on his own, the proclamation of emergency shall be placed before both houses of parliament for approval by each house within 10 days. On dissolution of the assembly or completion of its term, or in case it is dissolved under Article 58 or Article 112, a caretaker shall be selected by the president in consultation with the prime minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing National Assembly. Similarly, a caretaker chief minister will be appointed in consultation with the chief minister and the leader of the opposition in the outgoing provincial assembly. Proclamation of emergency of the fourteenth day of October, 1999, the Provisional Constitution Order (PCO) No 1, the Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2000, Chief Executive Order No 12 of 2002, Chief Executive Order No 19 of 2002, the amendments made in the Constitution through LFO, 2002, (Chief Executive Order No 24), the LFO (Amendment) Order, 2002, Chief Executive’s Order No 29 of 2002) and the LFO (Second Amendment) Order, 2002 (Chief Executive Order No 32 of 2002), notwithstanding any judgment of any court, including the Supreme Court or a High Court, are hereby declared as having been made without lawful authority and of no legal effect. Judges of the Supreme Court, High Courts and Federal Shariat Court who were continuing to hold the office of a judge or were appointed as such, and had taken oath under the Oath of Office (Judges) Order 2000, shall be deemed to continue to hold the office as judge or appointed as such as the case may be, under the Constitution and such continuance or appointment, shall have effect accordingly. Appointment of judges to the Supreme Court, there shall be a judicial commission. For appointment of judges of the Supreme Court, the commission, headed by the chief justice of Pakistan, shall also consist of two most senior judges of the apex court, a former chief justice or a former judge of the Supreme Court to be appointed by the chief justice in consultation with two member judges for a period of two years, federal minister for law and justice, Attorney General for Pakistan, and a senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan to be nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council for a period of two years. The judicial commission for the appointment of High Court judge, headed by the chief justice of the High Court, would also include two most senior judges of the High Court, provincial law minister, a senior advocate to be nominated by the provincial bar council. For appointment of judges of the Federal Shariat Court, the judicial commission shall also include the chief justice of the Shariat Court and the most senior judge of that court as its members. Article 58-2(b) should be repealed and substituted with “Dissolution of the National Assembly”. The substitution clause says that the president shall dissolve the National Assembly if so advised by the prime minister, and the National Assembly shall, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved at the expiration of forty-eight hours after the prime minister has so advised. Notwithstanding anything contained in Clause 2 of Article 48, the president may also dissolve the National Assembly in his discretion where, a vote of no-confidence having been passed against the prime minister, no other member of the National Assembly commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the National Assembly in accordance with the provision of the Constitution, as ascertained in a session of the National Assembly summoned for the purpose. Passing of the bills: Recommended substitution in Article 70 with “introduction of passing of bills”, adding that a bill with respect to any matter in the Federal Legislative List may originate in either house and shall, if it is passed by the house in which it originated, be transmitted to the other house and if the bill is passed without amendment by the other house also, it shall be presented to the president for assent. Bills presented in the house but not passed within 90 days of lying in the House shall be considered in a joint sitting of parliament. Islamabad High Court established and the judges of the Islamabad High Court should be taken from the federal capital and four provinces.

Nineteenth Amendment January 1, 2011

  • Articles 81, 175, 175A, 182, 213, 246 – Amendment introduced a new system for appointments in the superior courts; the amendment also raised the number of senior judges as members of the Judicial Commission to four. Under the amendment, recommendations for the appointments of ad hoc judges in the superior courts will be made by the Chief Justice of Pakistan in consultation with the Judicial Commission. Moreover, in case of the National Assembly’s dissolution, members of the parliamentary committee will be from the Senate only.