Browse the listing below to find government information for Pakistan, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Pakistan at its
Pakistan Country Page.
Type: Parliamentary democracy.
Independence: August 14, 1947.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), prime minister (head of government). Legislative--Bicameral Parliament or Majlis-e-Shoora (100-seat Senate, 342-seat National Assembly). Judicial--Supreme Court, provincial high courts, Federal Islamic (or Shari'a) Court.
Political parties: Pakistan Muslim League (PML), Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Muttahid Majlis-e-Amal (umbrella group), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Political subdivisions: 4 provinces; also the Northern Areas and Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
Government of Pakistan
President Pervez Musharraf has been chief of state since June 20, 2001, although he first took power in the October 1999 coup and took on the title of Chief Executive. A prolonged confrontation over authority between Parliament and the President ended in December 2002 with a compromise which permitted passage of the Legal Framework Order (LFO) of 2002, under the terms of which President Musharraf agreed that he will step down from his military position as Commander-in-Chief in late 2004. Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali has been head of government since November 23, 2002.
The Pakistan Constitution of 1973, amended substantially in 1985 under Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, was suspended by the military government in October 1999. It was restored on December 31, 2002. Selected provisions of the Constitution pertaining to changes that President Musharraf made while the Constitution was suspended remain contested by political opponents.
The president is elected by Parliament for a 5-year term. The prime minister is selected by the National Assembly for a 4-year term. The bicameral Parliament--or Majlis-e-Shoora--consists of the Senate (100 seats; members are indirectly elected by provincial assemblies to serve 4-year terms) and the National Assembly (342 seats; 60 seats reserved for women, 10 seats reserved for minorities; members elected by popular vote serve 4-year terms). Each of the four provinces--Punjab, Sindh, Northwest Frontier, and Balochistan--is headed by a governor and provincial cabinet, who are civilians appointed by the chief executive. The Northern Areas and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are administered by the federal government but enjoy considerable autonomy. The president, cabinet, National Security Council, and governors serve at the chief executive's discretion.
The judicial system comprises a Supreme Court, provincial high courts, and Federal Islamic (or Shari'a) Court. The Supreme Court is Pakistan's highest court. The president, in consultation with the chief executive, appoints the chief justice and they together determine the other judicial appointments. Each province has a high court, the justices of which are appointed by the president after conferring with the chief justice of the Supreme Court and the provincial chief justice. The judiciary is proscribed from issuing any order contrary to the decisions of the chief executive.
The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) are national political parties, while the Muttahid Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) -- an umbrella group of six religious parties, including the Jamaat-I-Islami --gained significant influence during the last election. Other parties with a strong regional, ethnic, or religious base include the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). After the elections held in late 2002, the Pakistani political system remains highly fragmented, with no group winning a substantial majority of seats in the legislature, and religious groups banding together in the MMA to earn a very significant portion of seats for the first time.