GeographyIQ.comGeographyIQ.com
  Home
  Rankings


A B C D E F
G H I J K L
M N O P Q R
S T U V W Y
Z          


Currency Converter

 


World > Middle East > Pakistan > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Pakistan - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
Pervez Musharraf has been chief of state since June 20, 2001. 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 made his pledge to resign his military position as Commander-in-Chief in late 2004. However, in 2004 General Musharraf announced that he would retain his military role.

The Pakistan Constitution of 1973, amended substantially in 1985 under 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 chosen for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of the Senate, National Assembly, and the provincial assemblies. The prime minister is selected by the National Assembly for a four-year term. The bicameral parliament--or Majlis-e-Shoora--consists of the Senate (100 seats; members are indirectly elected by provincial assemblies to serve four-year terms) and the National Assembly (342 seats; 60 seats reserved for women, 10 seats reserved for minorities; members elected by popular vote serve four-year terms). Each of the four provinces--Punjab, Sindh, Northwest Frontier, and Balochistan--has a Chief Minister and provincial assembly. The Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) are administered by the federal government but enjoy considerable autonomy. The cabinet, National Security Council, and governors serve at the president'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 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 President. Federal Sharia Court hears cases that primarily involve Sharia, or Islamic law. Legislation enacted in 1991 gave legal status to Sharia. Although Sharia was declared the law of the land, it did not replace the existing legal code.

The Pakistan Muslim League (PML), Pakistan People's Party (PPP), and Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) are national political parties, while the Muttahid Majlis-e-Amal (MMA)--an umbrella group of six religious parties, including the Jamaat-il-Islami--gained significant influence during the 2002 election. After those elections, the Pakistani political system remained highly fragmented, with no group winning a substantial majority of seats in the national assembly, and religious groups banding together in the MMA to earn a significant portion of seats for the first time.

According to the constitution, Pakistan is a federation of four provinces: Baluchistan, the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, and Sindh. Governors appointed by the president head the provinces. There is also the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the Islamabad Capital Territory, which consists of the capital city of Islamabad. These areas and territory are under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The Northern Areas are administered as a de facto 'Union Territory' and are treated as an integral part of Pakistan. The Pakistani-administered portion of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region includes Azad Kashmir, a separate and autonomous government that maintains strong ties to Pakistan.

Principal Government Officials
President--Pervez Musharraf
Prime Minister (head of government)--Shaukat Aziz
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Khurshid Kasuri
Ambassador to the U.S.--Mehmood Ali Durrani
Ambassador to the UN--Munir Akram

Pakistan maintains an embassy in the United States at 3517 International Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-243-6500). It has consulates in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Houston.


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions - Pakistan Rupee Exchange Rates
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions
Pakistan Rupee Exchange Rates


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





   Privacy & Disclaimer

   Portions of this site are based on public domain works from the U.S. Dept. of State and the CIA World Fact Book
   All original material copyright © 2002 - GeographyIQ.com. All Rights Reserved.
   For comments and feedback, write to us at [email protected].