Essays /

Government Of Pakistan Essay

Essay preview


Government Overview: The government is based on the much-amended constitution of 1973, which was suspended twice (in 1977 and 1999) and reinstated twice (in 1985 and 2002). According to the constitution, Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. The legislature, or parliament, is the Majlis-i-Shoora (Council of Advisers), consisting of the Lower House, which is often called the National Assembly, and the Upper House, or Senate. National Assembly members are directly elected for five-year terms. Senate members are elected by provincial assemblies, with equal representation from each of the four provinces as well as representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Islamabad Capital Territory. Both the Senate and National Assembly may initiate and pass legislation, but only the National Assembly can approve federal budgets and finance bills. However, parliament often has had little real political power. For example, in 2003 the only bill passed by the National Assembly was the national budget.

Executive power lies with the prime minister and president. The prime minister is an elected member of the National Assembly and is the leader of the National Assembly’s dominant party or coalition. However, the prime minister also is appointed formally by the president. The prime minister is assisted by a cabinet of ministers who are appointed by the president on the prime minister’s advice. An electoral college composed of members of the national and provincial legislatures elects the president for a five-year term, and no individual may hold the office for more than two consecutive terms. By law the president must be a Muslim. The president acts on the advice of the prime minister but has the power to prevent passage of non-finance bills and may dissolve the National Assembly if he concludes that the government cannot operate according to the constitution. The Senate, however, cannot be suspended.

Politics in Pakistan often have not operated according to the constitution. The military and Civil Service of Pakistan (CSP) frequently have been the preeminent actors in the country’s power structure, and in 1999 General Pervez Musharraf assumed power in a military coup. Moreover, there has been some concern that Pakistan could become a “failed state” because of the apparent inability of any single entity to control the country, the weakened productivity of a population beset by years of economic difficulties, and continuing problems of communal conflict and terrorism. Ethnic and provincial tensions often are manifested in rivalries between political parties, and several governments have been ended by assassination or military coup rather than by formal, electoral change.

Religion has played an important role in politics, and religious differences have been very salient in Pakistani government and civil society. The government has consistently been faced with tensions of whether and how to synthesize Islamic principles into an essentially secular and Western form of government. Religious differences among politically influential actors have become increasingly prominent since the early 1980s, when politics became more religiously oriented under the rule of General Zia ul-Haq (1977–88). As religious groups’ access to government resources increased, groups competed for political resources and the capacity to promote their approach to Islam, and sectarian divisions often became violent.

Administrative Divisions: Pakistan has four provinces—Balochistan, N...

Read more


10 101 11 128 13 18 1948 1965 1971 1973 1977 1978 1980s 1985 1988 1990s 1994 1997 1998 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 23 24 242 25 26 3 30 350 357 4 45 455 5 6.2 72 728 73 77 88 945 access accord accus act action activ actor addit address administ administr adult advic advis advisori affair afghanistan age agenc agricultur aid alleg alli allianc allow alreadi also although amend american among amount amput antipathi appar appeal appel appoint approach approv april arbitr area argu arrest asia asian assassin assembl assist associ assum atom attempt author autonom autonomi aviat azam backlog bail balochistan bangladesh bank base basel basi basic becam becom beset bill biolog bodi border boundari branch british broadcast budget cabinet call candid cannot capac capit case censorship centuri chair chamber chang chemic chief china chosen circul circumst civil climat close coalit code collect colleg colombo combat commerc commiss commission committe common commonwealth communal communiti compet compos concern conclud conduct confeder confer conflict consecut conserv consist constitu constitut contenti contest continu control convent cooper corpor corpus correspond corrupt could council counsel counter counterweight countri coup court credibl crescent crime crimin critic cross csp cultur custom daili date death declin deem demarc democraci deni depart deplet deriv desertif determin develop differ difficulti direct dismiss disput dissolv distant district divers divid divis doctrin document domest domin drawn drop drug due dump e earli earlier eas east eastern ec econom educ either elect elector elig end endang energi enforc english english-languag entiti environment ephemer equal especi essenti establish ethnic exampl execut exercis extend extern face fact faction factor fail fata fauna februari feder fight financ financi fine first fish five five-year flaw flora food foreign form formal format former four framework free freedom frequent frontier fund furthermor general given govern governor greatest group grow guarante habea habitat haq harmoni hazard head health hear heavili held high hold hostil hous howev hydrograph import impos imprison improv inabl includ inconsist increas independ india individu industri influenti initi injunct input institut insurg integr intellectu interest intern intimid involv iran islam islamabad issu jammu journalist judg judici judiciari jurisdict justic kashmir key kyoto labor labour lack languag larg lash late later law layer lead leader leagu league-nawaz league-quaid-e-azam led legal legisl legislatur legitimaci less level liberti lie limit linguist list littl live local local-level lost low lower majli majlis-i-shoora major make mani manifest marin maritim mass materi matter may mean media member membership meteorolog middl might migrat militari militia million minimum minist missil modif monetari month montreal moral moreov movement mqm mtcr much much-amend musharraf muslim must muttahida mutual n nation nationwid nawaz news newspap non non-fin non-muslim non-nuclear non-prolifer nonalign north north-west npt nuclear number numer object observ occup occur octob offens offic offici often older olymp one oper oppon opposit organ organis orient origin ostens outsid overse oversight overview own ozon pakistan pakistani parliament parliamentari parti particip particular pass passag penal penalti peopl perceiv percent perenni perhap perman pervez physic plan plant play pledg pml pml-n pml-q polic polici polit pollut popul possess postal power ppp precipit preemin preserv presid press prevent primari prime principl print privat problem product prohibit prolifer promin promot properti protect protocol provid provinc provinci prowess public publish punish punjab q quaid quami ramif rare rather ratifi real reconstruct red reduc referendum reform refuge regim region regist reinstat relat relationship relev religi religion remov repres represent research reserv resourc restrict result resum right rivalri role rule russia safeti salient sanction saw scientif sea seat sectarian secular secur self self-censorship selv senat separ septemb servic set sever shadow share sharia shariat sharif shia ship shoora sign signatori simultan sinc sindh sindhi singl sixti social societ societi sometim sourc south soviet speci special speech splinter standard state status stone strain strateg stronger structur subdivid substanc substanti success suffer suffrag suppli support suprem suspend suspicion synthes system taliban talk techniqu technolog telecommun temporari tens tension term territori terror terrorist test third threat three tie total tourism toxin trade tradit train transboundari treati tribal tribun trust twenti twenty-first twice two type typic ul ul-haq un union unit univers upper urdu us use valu various vienna view violenc violent vote voter war wast waterfowl weaken weapon well west western wetland whether wild wing women world year youth zia