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Legal Framework Order 1970

Yahya Khan after becoming the Chief Martial Law Administrator in 1969 announced that he would make it possible that free and fair elections will be conducted in Pakistan and a new constitution will be made soon. For that reason, he introduced a Legal Framework Order in March 1970 that determined principles for the future constitution of Pakistan. It also dissolved the One-Unit scheme on 1st July 1970.


The features of the LFO 1970 are mentioned as under:

1: The National Assembly of Pakistan will consist of 313 seats with 13 seats reserved for women. Out of 313, 169 seats were to be for East Pakistan, 85 for Punjab, 28 for Sindh, 19 for NWFP, 5 for Baluchistan and 7 seats were allotted to the tribal areas.

2: Each province will have a provincial assembly consisting of elected members. East Pakistan provincial assembly will have 400 members, Punjab 186, Sindh 62, Baluchistan 21 and NWFP 42.

3: The elections for National Assembly will be held on 5 October 1970 and for provincial assemblies not later than 22 October.

4:  The new constitution of Pakistan will follow these principles:

a: Pakistan will be a Federal Republic and will be known as Islamic Republic of Pakistan

b: The head of the Pakistan state would be a Muslim and the divinity of Islam will be preserved.

c: The principles of democracy will prevail by holding free elections for federal and provincial legislatures on the basis of adult franchise. Independent judiciary will be made possible along with fundamental rights for the citizens.

d:  All provinces will be given maximum autonomy while the centre will also remain strong.

e:  The citizens of the country will be able to participate actively in the affairs of the state and the state will try to eliminate economic disparities in the society.

f: The constitution of the country will make it possible for the Muslims of Pakistan to live their lives according to the teachings of Islam. The minorities will be free to follow their own faiths and will be able to enjoy the benefits of citizenship along with their fellow Pakistanis.

g:  The LFO clarified the status of national and provincial assemblies. It stated that the National Assembly would either be the only legislature provided that federal legislature consisting of one house or it would be the lower house if federation has two houses. Its tenure would be for the full term in both cases. The same went for provincial assemblies.

h: Within 120 days of the first meeting of the National Assembly, it would form a constitution bill and if it fails to do so, it will dissolve.

5: After the elections of the National Assembly, provisions will be made to arrange its meetings.

6: The LFO set broad outlines, structures, conditions and qualifications. Any contesting political party failing to qualify these conditions would not be able to participate in the elections.

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