History of the National Assembly of Pakistan

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14th National Assembly of Pakistan
Urdu: ایوان زیريں پاکستان
National Assembly
Leader of the House
Nawaz Sharif (PML-(N))
Since 22 June 2012
Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah (PPP
Since 17 September 2008
Seats 342
Political groups

PPP (124)
PML-(N) (91)

PML-(Q) (51)
First past the post
Last election
18 February 2008
Meeting place
Pakistani parliament house.jpg
Parliament House, Islamabad

The National Assembly (Urdu: ایوان زیریں پاکستان‎) is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also comprises the President of Pakistan and Senate (upper house). The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad, the National Assembly is a democratically elected body consisting of a total of 342 members who are referred to as Members of the National Assembly (MNAs), of which 272 are directly elected members and 70 reserved seats for women and religious minorities. A political party must secure 172 seats to obtain and preserve a majority.[1]

1st National Assembly[edit]

The foremost task before the first Constituent Assembly is of framing the Constitution for the nation, on 7 March 1949, the Objectives Resolution, which now serves as the grund norm of Pakistan, was introduced by the first Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, and later adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 12 March 1949. On the same day, a Basic Principles Committee with 24 members was formed to prepare a draft Constitution on the basis of the Objectives Resolution, on 16 October 1951, Prime Minister Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan, mover of the Objective Resolution, was assassinated and Khawaja Nazimuddin took over as the Prime Minister on 17 October 1951. The final draft of the Constitution was prepared in 1954. By that time, Muhammad Ali Bogra had taken over as the Prime Minister. However, just before the draft could be placed in the House for approval, the Assembly was dissolved by the then Governor General Ghulam Muhammad on 24th October1954, the Prime Minister was, however, not dismissed and was asked to run the administration, with a reconstituted Cabinet, until such time as the elections were held. Maulvi Tamizuddin, President of the Assembly, challenged the dissolution in the Sindh Chief Court, and won the case, the Government in return, went to the Federal Court, where the famous judgment was given by the then Chief Justice Muhammad Munir, according to which Maulvi Tamizuddin lost the case

2nd National Assembly[edit]

The second National Assembly was known as the 2nd Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, it was created on 28 May 1955 under Governor General's Order No.12 of 1955. The Electoral College for this Assembly was the Provincial Assemblies of respective Provinces, the strength of this Assembly was 80 Members, half each from East Pakistan and West Pakistan. One of the major decisions taken by this Assembly was the establishment of West Pakistan (One Unit), with the aim to create parity between the two wings (East and West Pakistan), this Assembly also achieved its target by giving the first Constitution to the nation i.e. the Constitution of Pakistan 1956. Choudhary Muhammad Ali was the Prime Minister at that time. Under this Constitution, Pakistan became an Islamic Republic, hence 23 March became our Republic day, it was the same day in 1940 that the historic Pakistan Resolution was adopted at Minto Park, Lahore. On 5 March 1956, Major General Sikandar Mirza became the first elected President of Pakistan. President Sikandar Mirza abrogated the Constitution, dissolved the National and Provincial Assemblies, and declared Martial Law, on 7 October 1958, he appointed General Muhammad Ayub Khan, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, as the Chief Martial Law Administrator. 27 October 1958 General Muhammad Ayub Khan took over as a second President of Pakistan. A new Constitution was framed and given to the nation on 1 March 1962.

3rd National Assembly[edit]

General elections under the new Constitution were held on 28 March 1962 and elections to the special seats reserved for women were held on 29 May 1962, the first session of the third National Assembly was held on 8 June 1962 at Ayub Hall, Rawalpindi.

4th National Assembly[edit]

On 25 March 1969 the second Martial law was imposed and General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan took over as the President of Pakistan and Chief Martial Law Administrator, he later issued a Legal Framework Order (LFO), under which the first ever general elections were held on 7 December 1970. This was the first Assembly elected on the adult franchise and population basis, it consist of 313 members, 169 from East Pakistan and 144 from West Pakistan including 13 reserved seats for women (6 were from West Pakistan and 7 from East Pakistan). Soon after the elections, due to grave political differences, the Province of East Pakistan seceded from West Pakistan and became Bangladesh, on 20 December 1971 Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took over as the President of Pakistan as well as the first civil Chief Martial Law Administrator, the first session of the National Assembly, due to the delay caused by the separation of East Pakistan, was held on 14thApril 1972 at the State Bank Building, Islamabad, in which all 144 Members from West Pakistan and two from former East Pakistan (Mr. Noor-ul-Amin and Raja Tridev Roy who had chosen to join Pakistan) participated, on 17 April 1972 an Interim Constitution was adopted by the National Assembly, which provided for a Presidential form of Government. Under this Constitution, the National Assembly was not to be dissolved earlier than 14 August 1973, the Interim Constitution dealt in detail with the distribution of powers between the Centre and the Provinces. The Assembly also formed a Constitution Committee on 17 April 1972 to prepare the first draft for framing a Constitution, the report of the Committee was presented with a draft Constitution on 31 December 1972. It was unanimously passed by the Assembly in its session on 10 April 1973 and was authenticated by the President on 12 April 1973, this Constitution, called the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, was promulgated on 14 August 1973. On the same day, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto took oath as the Prime Minister, while Mr. Fazal Illahi Choudhary took oath as the President of Pakistan.

From 1947 to 1973, the country had a unicameral system of legislature. Under the 1973 Constitution, Pakistan adopted bicameral system at the centre, called "The Parliament", composing the President, the National Assembly and The Senate. Originally, the general seats of the National Assembly were 200 with additional 10 seats reserved for women, bringing the total strength to 210, the newly created Upper House i.e. the Senate had 63 members. Later in 1985 through a Presidential Order (P.O. No. 14 of 1985), seven seats were added to the general seats and ten to the reserved seats for women in the National Assembly. Ten seats were exclusively reserved for minorities to be filled through separate electorate system, thus the total strength of the lower house reached to 237 members. Similarly the strength of Senate was also increased from 63 to 87.

5th National Assembly[edit]

On 7 January 1977 Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto announced the holding of elections before time. Consequently, on 10 January 1977, he advised the President to dissolve the National Assembly. Elections were held on 7 March 1977, the opposition charged the government with rigging the elections to the National Assembly and thereafter boycotted the Provincial Assemblies elections. Since the opposition had not accepted the National Assembly elections result, they did not take oath, this resulted in severe political crisis and Martial Law was imposed by the then Army Chief, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, on 5 July 1977.

6th National Assembly[edit]

On 24 December 1981, under Presidential Order (P.O.15 of 1981) a Federal Council (Majlis-e-Shoora) was constituted by the President. Its members were nominated by the President, the first session of this Council was held on 11 January 1982. In this way, limited and controlled political activities were resumed, as a result of which general elections were later held for the National and Provincial Assemblies on 25 February 1985, on a non-party basis.

7th National Assembly[edit]

On 2 March 1985, the revival of Constitution Order (P.O.14 of 1985) was issued in which a large number of amendments were made in the Constitution. The first session of the National Assembly was held 20 March 1985. Mr. Muhammad Khan Junejo, was nominated as the Prime Minister of Pakistan by the President (General Zia-ul-Haq), he received vote of confidence on 24 March 1985. In November 1985, the 8th Constitutional Amendment was adopted by the Parliament. Besides changes in other Articles in the Constitution the significant Article 58(2)(b) was added, according to which the President acquired discretionary powers to dissolve the National Assembly, on 29 May 1988 the Assembly was dissolved by the President by using the power acquired under Article 58(2)(b).

8th National Assembly[edit]

The General elections for the eighth National Assembly was held on 16 November 1988, the first session was convened by the President on 30 November 1988. Mr. Miraj Khalid was elected as a Speaker National Assembly on 3 December 1988. Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was nominated as Prime Minister of Pakistan and took the oath of the Office on 2 December 1988, the Assembly was dissolved by the President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan under Article 58(2)(b) on 6 August 1990.

9th National Assembly[edit]

The General elections for the ninth National Assembly was held on 24 October 1990, the first session was held on 3 November 1990. Mr. Gohar Ayub Khan elected as Speaker National Assembly and he took oath on 4 November 1990. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on 11 November 1993, the Assembly was dissolved by the then President, Ghulam Ishaq Khan, under Article 58(2)(b) on 18 April 1993. The dissolution of the National Assembly was challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and after hearing the case the Assembly was restored by the apex court on 26 May 1993, the Assembly was dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister on 18 July 1993.

10th National Assembly[edit]

The elections for tenth National Assembly was held on 6 October 1993, the first session was held on 15 October 1993. Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani took oath of the office of the Speaker National Assembly on 17 October 1993. Mohtarma Benizar Bhutto administered the oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan on 19 October October 1993, the Assembly was dissolved by the President Farooq Ahmad Khan Laghari on 5 November 1996.

11th National Assembly[edit]

The elections for eleventh National Assembly was held on 3 February 1997, the first session was held on 15 February 1997. Mr. Illahi Bukhsh Soomro took oath of the office of the Speaker National Assembly on 16 February 1997. Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif took oath as Prime Minister of Pakistan and Leader of the House on 17 February 1997, the new Assembly came into power with an overwhelming majority. The Article 58(2)(b) was later on omitted from the Constitution vide 13th Amendment in the Constitution in April 1997.

The Chief of Army Staff General Pervez Musharraf, who was also Chairman Joint Staff Committee, took over the government from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and declared himself as Chief Executive through a Proclamation of Emergency, on 12 October 1999. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, MNA and Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, Speaker National Assembly, challenged the suspension orders in the Supreme Court, the Court in its judgment on 12 May 2000 validated the military takeover by giving three years time frame to the government, starting from 12 October 1999. On 20 June 2001, through a notification (C.E. Order No.1) the Chief Executive assumed the office of the President of Pakistan under President's Succession Order, 2001. On the same day, through another Order (C.E. Order No. 2, 2001), the President converted the orders of suspension of legislative bodies and their presiding officers, into dissolution.

12th National Assembly[edit]

The elections for twelfth National Assembly was held on 10 October 2002. 41 per cent of the nearly 72 million eligible voters turned out. The first session of the 12th National Assembly of Pakistan was convened on 16 November 2002, on 19 November 2002, Mr. Chaudhry Amir Hussain from the PML-Q was elected the new Speaker of the National Assembly. Two days later, the National Assembly picked Mr. Mir Zafarullah Jamali (PML-Q) as the country's new civilian Prime Minister.

13th National Assembly[edit]

On 17 March 2008, the newly elected National Assembly held its first session. Ms. Fehmida Mirza (PPPP) became the first woman to assume the post of National Assembly Speaker in Pakistan. the National Assembly elected Mr. Yousaf Raza Gilani (PPPP), as Prime Minister, on 18 August, President Musharraf announced his resignation, while strongly denying the accusations. On the same day, the National Assembly officially accepted his resignation with immediate effect. Senate President Muhammad mian Soomro became acting President, on 6 September, the electoral college, comprising the National Assembly, the Senate and the provincial assemblies, elected Asif Ali Zardari as the country's new President. He was sworn in on 9 September.[2][3][4][5]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]