The constitution of Pakistan 1973 was enforced on 14th Aug 1973. It consists of 280 articles and 7 schedules with Objective Resolution forming the preamble of the constitution beside 20 amendments which have been made since then. It is regarded as the landmark accomplishment of Bhutto’s era as it was a unanimous act of the parliament with complete consensus of all the political parties. However, many twists and turns have been witnessed ever since its enforcement but still it is the supreme law of land and the sacrosanct instrument which reigns supreme in governance of the state.
The constitution 1956 and 1962 failed to provide the aspired political stability to the country. Both proved short lived and were replaced with the martial laws in the country. But the subsequent years after imposition of martial law were highly tumultuous costing Pakistan its eastern wing. The leftover country was first governed by a unique proposition of civilian Chief Martial administrator till the interim constitution was adopted by the national assembly. The assembly constituted a committee headed by Hafiz-ud-Din Pirzada to formulate the permanent constitution for Pakistan. The committee did its work in shortest possible time and the national assembly adopted the constitution on 10th April unanimously.
The constitution declared Pakistan an Islamic republic laying down condition for head of state and head of the government to be Muslims. However, 8th amendment has made the Objective Resolution a substantial part of the constitution by incorporating it as article 2A according to which all laws made in Pakistan should be in accordance with the injunctions of Quran and Sunnah. Its Islamic character is further reinforced by accepting the sovereignty of Almighty Allah, Islam to be the state religion and by promising the Muslims to enable them to order their lives in accordance with the fundamental principles of Islam. It also provides a long list of fundamental rights as well directive principles of state policy. Besides, the constitution envisages a federation of Pakistan and affords a parliamentary form of government leaving president with only ceremonious functions. The federal legislature is bicameral i.e. senate the upper house and national assembly the lower house. Moreover, the constitution provides an independent judiciary, provincial autonomy to the federating units, a council of common interests, a council of Islamic ideology etc.
The subsequent voyage of the constitution however was not smooth. It has been suspended or held in abeyance twice. Amendments made by military dictators have changed spirit of original constitution. So far, 20 amendments have been made most of which have been brought about not for the fulfillment of compulsions and needs of changing times but to accomplish the selfish ends. This experimentation has achieved nothing but instability in the country that has blocked the process of establishing and strengthening the democratic system in Pakistan.