Pakistan: Constitution of 1962

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Constitution of Pakistan → Constitution of 1962

On 17 February 1960 Ayub Khan appointed a commission to report on the future political framework for the country. The commission was headed by Chief Justice Shahabudin, including ten other members. Duty of commission was to:

  • Find out the causes of failure of constitution of 1956
  • Detect the reasons for failure of parliamentary form of government
  • Provide the frame for a new constitution

The report of constitution commission was presented to president on 6th May 1961. In January 1962, cabinet approved the text of new constitution and it was promulgated on 1st March 1962. The constitution of 1962 came into effect on 8 June 1962.


Written Constitution
Just like the constitution of 1956, constitution of 1962 was a written constitution.

Detailed Constitution
It was a detailed constitution including 250 articles, divided into 12 parts and 3 schedules.

“Objective Resolution” was also included in the preamble of constitution of 1962.

Rigid Constitution
Constitution of 1962 was a rigid constitution as it could not be amended easily. Two-third majority of national assembly was necessary to amend the constitution.

Name of Country
Name of country in this constitution was “Republic of Pakistan” but in first amendment the name was changed to “Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”

National Language
Urdu and Bengali were declared national languages of country.

Presidential System
It was written in the constitution of 1962 that there would be presidential form of government in which president would be the head of the state as well as government.

There was one house for legislature and that was national assembly. Total seats of national assembly were 156, from which 6 seats were reserved for women and the remaining 150 were equally divided between both the provinces.

Absolute Law Making Authority
Parliament was bestowed with absolute legislative authority and its acts were not challenge-able in the court of law. Judicial review was not provided in fact.

It was stated in this constitution that Pakistan would be a federation comprising of two units i.e. East Pakistan and West Pakistan.

Office of Governor
Governor was to act as executive authority in each province as a nominee of the president.

Fundamental Rights
Fundamental rights are those rights which are enforceable at law. List of fundamental rights was not added in original documents of the constitution. It was added after first amendment in the constitution.

Indirect Elections
Unlike the constitution of 1956, there were introduced indirect elections for choosing president as well as legislature. For Presidential Elections mere three candidates could contest.

Electoral College
Electoral College was introduced for choosing president and members of legislature. In the first step, primary voters had to elect the Basic Democrats of Electoral College including 80,000 members and in the second step the members of Electoral College used to choose the members of legislature and president.

In case of clash between president and legislature, president had the right to refer the matter to Electoral College.

President and Speaker
There was a convention in constitution of 1962 that, if president belongs to West Pakistan then speaker would be from East Pakistan and vice versa.

Two Units
Country comprised of two units; one – East Pakistan and other was West Pakistan.

Extra-Ordinary Powers of President

  • Constitution of 1962 gave extra-ordinary powers to president. President was considered as clock tower of Faisalabad.
  • All ministers were appointed by president and they were not responsible to the legislature.
  • All judges were appointed by president.
  • Impeachment of president was not an easy process but it was made very complicated.
  • At least 3/4 majority of parliament was required for removing president.
  • Budget was to be proposed by the President and needed no approval from the parliament.

Independent Judiciary
Executive influence was tried to be minimized over the judiciary and SC was held as the ultimate judicial authority.

Next: Causes for failure of 1962 Constitution