On 3rd June1947, Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, called the conference of all the leaders of the Sub-continent and communicated to them his Government's Plan for the transfer of power. At that time, a notification was issued in the Gazette of India, published on 26th July 1947 in which the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was given shape with 69 Members (later on the membership was increased to 79), including one female Member.
The State of Pakistan was created under the Independence Act of 1947. The Act made the existing Constituent Assemblies, the dominion legislatures. These Assemblies were allowed to exercise all the powers, which were formerly exercised by the Central Legislature, in addition to the powers regarding the framing of a new Constitution, prior to which all territories were to be governed in accordance with the Government of India Act, 1935.
The first session of the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was held on
The foremost task before the first Constituent Assembly is of framing the Constitution for the nation. On
The final draft of the Constitution was prepared in 1954. By that time, Muhammad Ali Bogra had taken over as the Prime Minister. However, just before the draft could be placed in the House for approval, the Assembly was dissolved by the then Governor General Ghulam Muhammad on 24th October1954. The Prime Minister was, however, not dismissed and was asked to run the administration, with a reconstituted Cabinet, until such time as the elections were held.
Maulvi Tamizuddin, President of the Assembly, challenged the dissolution in the
The second Constituent Assembly of Pakistan was created on
Under 1956 Constitution, Parliament was unicameral. Legislative powers vested in the Parliament, which consisted of the President and the National Assembly comprising 300 Members divided equally between East and
However, in the absence of any law to control the Political Parties and the problem of floor crossing, political instability perpetually ensued. Although the first general election were scheduled for early 1959, President Sikandar Mirza abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies, and declared Martial Law, on
General elections under the new Constitution were held on
The Constitution of 1962 envisaged a
The electoral system was made indirect, and the `Basic Democrats', for both wings were declared Electoral College for the purpose of electing the Assemblies and the President. Basic democrats were 80,000 in number (40,000 from each East & West Pakistan). The total membership of the National Assembly was 156, one half of whom were to be elected from
The first session of the National Assembly, due to the delay caused by the separation of East Pakistan, was held on 14thApril 1972 at the State Bank Building, Islamabad, in which all 144 Members from West Pakistan and two from former East Pakistan (Mr. Noor-ul-Amin and Raja Tridev Roy who had chosen to join Pakistan) participated. On
The Assembly also formed a Constitution Committee on
The 1973 Constitution provides for a parliamentary form of government where the executive authority of the state vests with the Prime Minister. The President, according to the Constitution, is at the apex, representing the unity of the Republic.
From 1947 to 1973, the country had a unicameral system of legislature. Under the 1973 Constitution,
Under the 1973 Constitution the National Assembly is elected for five years term, unless sooner dissolved. The seats in National Assembly, unlike the Senate, are allocated to each province and other units of the federation, on the basis of population. The Constitutional provision of 20 special seats for women lapsed in 1990, thus decreased the Assembly strength from 237 to 217. Under the Constitution, elections to the 10 seats reserved for minority were held on separate electorate basis.
Despite the tenure of the Assembly being five years, as prescribed in the Constitution, Mr. Z.A.Bhutto, on
In November 1985, the 8th Constitutional Amendment was adopted by the Parliament. Besides changes in other Articles in the Constitution the significant Article 58(2)(b) was added, according to which the President acquired discretionary powers to dissolve the National Assembly. On
The General elections for the eighth National Assembly was held on
The General elections for the ninth National Assembly was held on
The elections for tenth National Assembly was held on
The elections for eleventh National Assembly was held on
It may be pertinent to note at this point that while, ostensibly, sixteen amendments have been made in the Constitution so far, the ninth and the eleventh Constitutional Amendments were, however, passed by the Senate alone and fifteenth by the National Assembly alone, hence these amendments lapsed. The fourteenth Amendment in the Constitution empowered a check on floor crossing of legislators.
Chief of Army Staff General Pervaz Musharraf, who was also Chairman Joint Staff Committee, took over the government from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and declared himself as Chief Executive through a Proclamation of Emergency, on
Syed Zafar Ali Shah, MNA and Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Speaker National Assembly, challenged the suspension orders in the Supreme Court. The Court in its judgment on