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Constituent Assembly of Pakistan


Constituent Assembly of Pakistan set up in 1947 in order to frame a constitution for Pakistan. As per provision of the Indian Independence Act 1947, two constituent assemblies were established; one for the dominion of India and the other for Pakistan. mohammed ali jinnah was elected president of the constituent assembly of Pakistan on 11 August 1947. Under the Indian Independence Act, the Constituent Assembly was vested with two distinct functions: to draw up a constitution, and to act as a federal Legislative Assembly (Parliament) until a constitution was framed and brought into effect. The Pakistan Constituent Assembly had all the powers and functions of the former Indian central legislature under the Government of India Act, 1935. The First Constituent Assembly consisting of 69 members came into operation under the Pakistan (Provisional Constitution) Order, 1947.

In the Constituent Assembly there were two parties, the muslim league and the indian national congress. Of the 69 members of the Assembly, 59 were Muslim Leaguers. The Constituent Assembly set up several committees and sub-committees to carry out its responsibility of constitution making. Of them, the most important was the basic principle committee. Another important committee was appointed to draw up the Fundamental Rights of the Citizens of Pakistan. The Constituent Assembly, however, had failed to frame a constitution for the country. Internal dissention among party members and power politics delayed constitution making. After the general elections of 1954 the Constituent Assembly also lost its representative character. President Ghulam Muhammad declared emergency and dissolved the Assembly in October 1954, and by applying his emergency powers called a Constituent Convention which later turned out to have been the second Constituent Assembly. It consisted of sixty members of whom 30 were from East Bengal. The second Constituent Assembly enacted the first constitution of Pakistan in 1956. The second constitution was given in 1962, and Pakistan was dismembered before the third constitution could be framed after the general elections of 1970. [Sirajul Islam]