First Constitution of Pakistan 1956-Salient Features of Constitution

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Constitution of Pakistan 1956

First Constitution of Pakistan 1956

First Constitution of Pakistan 1956 was key stone in the Pakistan history. Pakistan succeeded in drafting a Constitution after nine years of effort. It was adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 29 February 1956 and enforced by the Assembly as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 23 March 1956. It was passed under the government of Ch. Muhammad Ali and Iskandar Mirza. The 23rd march is an essential day in Pakistan’s history, because on this day Pakistan resolution was approved in Lahore  in 1940. It was therefore decided that this constitution must be introduced on such an important day of history. 

There were 234 articles and 6 schedules in Pakistan’s 1956 Constitution, outlining the entire constitutional and governance and power management framework. In this Constitution Pakistan was named as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by this constitution.

Salient features of 1956 constitution of pakistan

Below are the salient characteristics of the 1956 Constitution

Written Constitution 

It was written and long document.  There were 234 articles and six schedules. 

Objective Resolution 

Objective Resolution was included in it. Pakistan was declared the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by the name of the 1956 country constitution.

National Language 

Urdu and Bengali were made national languages of Pakistan. 

State Religion

Islam has been Pakistan’s state religion.

Islamic Provisions

Many Islamic provisions were introduced in 1956 and decided not to make any law against Islam’s injunction.

Fundamental Right

 All fundamental rights were given to all citizens of Pakistan including minorities. The rights of minorities were laid down in Pakistan’s 1956 constitution. Minorities freely perform festivals of their religion.

Uni- cameral Legislature

Unicameral parliament was introduced in the Constitution.  There were 300 National Assembly seats for men  and 10 for women . Total 310 seats in National Assembly 

 Federal System

In the country under the Constitution of 1956, the federal system was established. Introduction of the parliamentary form of the Govt Constitution from 1956.

Freedom of Judiciary

 In the Constitution of 1956, freedom of the judiciary was established. The decision was made to interpret the Constitution from the Supreme Court.

Direct Election

Direct elections were introduced in the Constitution of 1956.

Single Citizenship

 The Constitution of 1956 contained only one citizenship. The constitution established specific State Policy Directive principles for the Government Guidance. 

Lengthy Constitution

The constitution of 1956 was a lengthy one. 

Causes of failure of the 1956 Constitutional Parliamentary System

    • Lack of Leadership   
    • Unicameralism 
    • Lack of Political Training 
    • Delay in Elections
    • Non Existence of Economic Equality 

Criticism of 1956 constitution of pakistan

  • In the National Assembly, the Bengalis were underrepresented.
  • There was no provisional autonomy given to the provinces, and the ‘One Unit Scheme‘ was trying to squash their demand, but Dr. Akhter Hamid Khan has always stated the right to resolve their problems.
  • The first step towards establishing an army as a political institution was the right, during a moment of so-called inner or external danger, to declare an emergency by the president.


A presidential proclamation suspended the constitution on the night of 7 October 1958 by President Iskander Mirza. The ministers have been rejected, parliamentary terms ended, and political parties have been banned. General Mohammad Ayub Khan was appointed as  Chief Martial Law Administrator and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. 


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