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Legal Framework Order (1970)
After becoming the Chief Martial Law Administrator in 1969, Yahya Khan announced to conduct free and fair elections and gave an assurance that a new constitution would be made soon. In March 1970 he announced the Legal Framework Order that determined principles for the future constitution of Pakistan and on 1st July 1970 he dissolved the One-Unit scheme. The salient features of the LFO 1970 are as below:
1: The National Assembly of Pakistan will consist of 313 seats with 13 seats reserved for women. Out of 313, 169 seats were reserved 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 the Federal Republic and will be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan b: The head of the Pakistan state would be a Muslim and the divinity of Islam will be preserved in the constitution.
c: The principles of democracy will prevail by holding free elections for federal and provincial legislatures based on adult franchise. Independent judiciary will be made possible along with fundamental rights for the citizens.
d: The center will remain strong while all provinces will be given maximum autonomy.
e: The state will try to eliminate economic disparities in the society and the citizens of the country will be able to participate actively in the affairs of the state.
f: The constitution of the country will enable the Muslims of Pakistan to live their lives according to the teachings of Islam. The minorities will be free to follow their 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. 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 the federation has two houses. Its tenure would be for the full term in both cases. The same went for provincial assemblies.
h: The Constituent Assembly was to stand dissolved if it was unable to frame the Constitution within 120 days.
5: After the elections of the National Assembly, provisions will be made to arrange its meetings.
6: The LFO specified the number of conditions and qualifications. Any contesting political party failing to fulfill the requirement will not be allowed to participate in the elections.