The basic structure of 1973 constitution

 Basic structure of the 1973 constitution is federal which means that Pakistan will be a federation with four federating units (provinces) i.e, Sindh, Punjab, KPK and Balochistan. 

Further the constitution gives parliamentary system of governance to the state with independent judiciary. The constitution and it's democratic structure further safeguards the social status of it's subjects (people). After all the features above mentioned the constitution further gives an Islamic touch to the state with some Islamic features which include;

  • Islam shall be the state religon.
  • Defination of Muslim; that a person who believes in Tauheed or oneness of Allah and  the prophet hood of Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) as last prophet of Allah has been described as Muslim.
  • Ahmadi's were declared non Muslims.
  • Islamic way of life.
  • Composition of Islamic Council
It is very pertinent to mention here a very important judgement of the Supreme Court in relation to the basic structure of the constitution. PLD 2000-SC-869  Zafar Ali Shah vs. General Pervez Musharaf.
There have been many embracing judicial decisions where the judiciary has added to and have come to the help the dictators. The judiciary and judges too have shown concerns in their judgments for their judicial blunders.

The said case PLD 2000-SC-869 is related to General Pervez Musharaf's coup. After the ouster of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the then prime minister, supreme court was moved through advocate Zafar Ali Shah under article 184(3) of the constitution and it was prayed that the military be sent back to barracks as the concept of military government was alien to the civilized world.

The supreme court not only rejected the petition but also empowered the fourth dictator to himself amend the constitution - a relief which he did not sought even. However it was led;
  • That the president can amend constitution and provide for a provision that was missing, but he cannot alter the basic structure of constitution.
  • And that even if president wants and is of the view that the federal system should be abolished and hence the unitary system be brought, he will have no powers to convert the federation into unitary system.
  • That he cannot switch parliamentary system of government into the presidential system of government.
  • That he cannot influence the judiciary, and judiciary will be independent.
  • That he cannot encroach on social status of people.

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