Causes of Delay in Constitution Making of Pakistan

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CAUSES OF DELAY IN CONSTITUTION MAKING OF PAKISTAN:

OUTLINE:

INTRODUCTION:

What is a Constitution?

Why is it needed?

COMPLEXITIES IN CONSTITUTION MAKING OF PAKISTAN

i). Federalism.

ii). Representation.

BPC report 1.

BPC report 2.

Bogra formula.

iii). Separate or joint Electorate.

iv). National language issue.

v). Presidential Vs. Parliamentary  system.

vi). Islamic or Secular State.

Introduction:

Constitution is a set of basic principle and framework for governance and exercise of political power and legal authority. It clarifies the scope of power, relationship among various institutions within the government and society.

A Constitution has precedence our ordinary laws and cannot be changed like ordinary laws.

Constitutional Complexities of Pakistan:

The Government of India Act (1935) was adopted after minor modifications as interim constitution of newly independent state of Pakistan. India framed its constitution just two years after independence. It took nine years for Pakistan to adopt its first Constitution.

The major issues towards the development of a constitution of its own, the first constituent assembly had to analyze the following parameters.

  1. Division of power:

Division of powers between the center and provinces.    There was tradition of strong center during the British rule. After independence, provinces were demanding more provincial autonomy. Tradition of strong center WON.

  1. Representation:

Pakistan

East Pakistan                           West Pakistan

One administrative Unit          4 administrative units/provinces.

More population.                      Less population.

Less territory.                           More territory.

 

4 provinces had different population and size of territory.

To have a standard formula for the representation of units and population, the Constitution Assembly (CA) formed a basic principle committee (BPC) in March, 1949.

TASK:

The task of the committee was to frame a set of basic principle for Representation of provinces/units in central assembly and other matters of utmost importance for the future constitution of Pakistan.

FIRST BPC REPORT:-

September 28, 1950.

Two houses of the parliament were proposed with equal powers.

Lower House                                      Upper House

Representation awarding                  Representation equal of all the provinces

According to the population of the provinces.       irrespective  of size of pop & area.

The matter of national language remained unresolved.

East Pakistan opposed this report.

SECOND BPC REPORT:-

December 22, 1952.

Both  Houses of the Parliament will enjoy the equal status and powers. It proposed equal representation to East and West wing.

Report criticized in both wings.

Concept/principle of parity not appreciated in both wings.

MUHAMMAD ALI BOGRA FORMULA:-

After the assassination of L.A.K. Muhammad Ali Bogra presented a formula to resolve the deadlock in constitution making.

Bicameral  Legislature

Upper House                                               Lower House

Equal rep. of all the provinces.          Rep. awarding to pop.

East Pakistan got more representation.

Both wings would have equal strength in joint sessions of the Parliament.

REACTION TO BOGRA FORMULA:-

—Welcomed in both parts of the country.

—Urdu Bengali both national languages.

—Principle of parity and representation accepted.

Parity

East Pakistan                           West Pakistan Oct 14, 1955.

One Unit                                 One Unit (4 provinces amalgamated)

  1. Separate or Joint Electorate:

East—Decided for joint electorate.

West—Decided for separate electorate.

1957—Joint electorate was adopted for all Pakistan by the national assembly.

  1. The National Language Issue:

In 1948 Jinnah declared that Urdu would be the national language and provinces could use their language. Bengalis disliked Urdu and demanded Bengali language be declared as national language of Pakistan. The demand intensified after the death of Jinnah. The issue was finally resolved in the 1956 constitution with both Urdu and Bengali declared as national languages of Pakistan.

  1. Parliamentary OR Presidential System:

Consensus for Parliamentary System. Small demand for presidential

Supporters of Presidential system became dominant after the 1958 military takeover. The Constitution of 1962 was a Presidential Constitution.

  1. The Islamic or Secular State.

There was no doubt that future constitutionof Pakistan would be Islamic in nature. However, there was dispute as to the extent of Islamization and interpretation of Islamic rules. Some scholars wanted to see a theological constitution. However, the majority supported idea of Islamic character of constitution that meets with the demands of modern nation states. The question of Islamic character of constitution became particularly a thorny one.

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