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January 12th, 2014

Validity of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution

It is reported in the Express Tribune (see link) that ex-President Pervez Musharraf's legal team "has actually challenged the authenticity of the 1973 Constitution that the former army chief is facing trial for abrogating, subverting and suspending." Their argument is given as follows:

"The argument here is that the promulgation of the document that we know and treat as the Constitution is a mere act of parliament and nothing more. Ostensibly, the reason being given is that the 1973 Constitution was passed only by the West Pakistan Assembly – ie, what was left of the combined Constituent Assembly of East and West Pakistan elected originally in 1970. If one follows this argument, after these elections, the Eastern Wing, along with half the assembly, seceded to become Bangladesh in 1971, but the West Pakistan parliamentarians remained in place. And though they remained in place, the basis of their election was the 1970 polls – and based on that, they numbered only half of the assembly.

Moreover, Musharraf contends that a majority of the members of the constituent assembly did not participate in the framing of the interim constitution of 1972 and the present “1973 Constitution”.

Hence, it is argued, the document (what we regard as the constitution) is an act of parliament and its violation technically does not amount to high treason."

Blog readers, I have for long raised this point in connection with the 1974 anti-Ahmadiyya amendment by the National Assembly, namely, that it was in fact elected in 1970 as a part of the whole National Assembly of Pakistan.

Note however that the post-1971 "Pakistan National Assembly"  was not a half of the whole NA as elected in 1970 (as assumed in the argument quoted above) but it was less than a half. Seats given to each province were in proportion to its population. It appears that out of the total of 300 seats, 162 were for East Pakistan and 138 were for West Pakistan. So the post-1971 "Pakistan National Assembly"  was a clear minority of the real national Assembly elected in 1970.

2 Responses to “Validity of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution”

  1. January 12th, 2014 at 6:27 pm
    From Rashid Jahangiri:

    My respect for Gen. Musharraf and Gen. Zia-ul-Haq.

    Gen. Musharraf issued a presidential order, although he could not enforce it: Anyone declaring Reciter of Kalima-Shahada as a Kafir (non-Muslim) is punishable by law.

    Gen. Zia-ul-Haq sent Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who declared Reciters of Kalima-Shahada as Kafir, to gallows of death.

    Interestingly, as Dr. Zahid Aziz pointed out, today ZAB is hardly remembered for anything but for his judicial murder.


  2. I wonder if the formulators of the Constitution of Pakistan while calling Quran as the supreme law of the land ever read Quran themselves when they had the audacity of calling a Kalima reciter a kafir. Quran apparently for them was no more than a book wrapped in a cover placed high above at the entrances of their dwellings. Quran does not interfere with making traffic laws, but takes a strong stance against any human institution monopolizing the moral laws:

    6:114-117. Shall I then seek a judge other than Allah, when He it is Who has sent down to you the Book fully explained. And those whom We have given the Book know that it is revealed by your Lord with truth, so do not be one of the disputers. And the word of your Lord has been accomplished truly and justly. There is none who can change His words; and He is the Hearer, the Knower. And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they only lie. Surely your Lord — He knows best who goes astray from His way, and He knows best the guided ones.*

    16:116-119. And do not utter the lie which your tongues describe: This is lawful and this unlawful; so that you forge a lie against Allah. Surely those who forge a lie against Allah will not prosper. A little enjoyment — and for them is a painful punishment. And to those who are Jews We prohibited what We have related to you already, and We did not wrong them, but they wronged themselves. And surely your Lord, for those who do evil in ignorance, then turn after that and make amends, surely your Lord after that is Forgiving, Merciful.*

    The monkey show in the National Assembly probably did not know that There is none who can change His words when they expunged Kalima Shahada as basis of one claiming to be a Muslim. They forged a lie against Allah.  Surely those who forge a lie against Allah will not prosper. A little enjoyment — and for them is a painful punishment. The words of Allah did not take long to come true for Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, his cronies, his Mullah encourage and even the masses of the land who follow nothing but conjecture, and they only lie, in the name of a Constitution. All one has to do is to pick any newspaper on any given day which is full of ever worsening painful punishment. Compare that with the newspapers from their neighboring countries. The whole world is moving towards development and prosperity and Pakistan is scrapping the bottom of the barrel to light a lantern.

    The old adage in statistics – Garbage in Garbage out, stands true for this Constitution of theirs. It will be interesting to follows if the court takes a principled stand in Musharraf’s response or kicks the can a little down the road. This Constitution cannot stand for its above mentioned fundamental immorality. That’s the Law in the above verses.

    * English Translation of the Holy Quran with Explanatory Notes by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Edited by Dr. Zahid Aziz.


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