President of Pakistan

Last updated
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan
صدر مملکت اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان
Presidential Standard of Pakistan (1974-1998).svg
President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi.jpg
Incumbent
Arif Alvi

since 9 September 2018
Style Mr. President
(informal)
Honourable President
(formal)
His Excellency [1]
(In international correspondence)
Type Head of State
(Ceremonial)
Residence Anum Empire, Main Shahre E Faisal
Appointer Electoral College
Term length Five years
Renewable once
Constituting instrument Constitution of Pakistan
Inaugural holder Iskander Mirza
FormationMarch 23, 1956;63 years ago (1956-03-23)
Website President of Pakistan
Coat of arms of Pakistan.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Pakistan
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistanportal

The President of Pakistan (Urdu : صدر مملکت پاکستانṢadr-e Mumlikat-e Pākistān, Urdu pronunciation:  [ˌsəd̪ˈr-eː ˈmʊm.lɪˌkət̪-e pɑː.kɪs.t̪ɑːn]), is the head of state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the civilian Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces, per the Constitution of Pakistan. [2] The office-holder represents the "unity of the Republic". [3] The current President of Pakistan is the 13th president, Arif Alvi.

A head of state is the public persona who officially embodies a state in its unity and legitimacy. Depending on the country's form of government and separation of powers, the head of state may be a ceremonial figurehead or concurrently the head of government and more.

Pakistan Armed Forces combined military forces of Pakistan

The Pakistan Armed Forces are the military forces of Pakistan. They are the sixth largest in the world in terms of active military personnel and the largest among Muslim countries. The armed forces comprise four main service branches – Army, Navy, Air Force and paramilitary forces and the Strategic Plans Division Force. Chain of command of the military is organised under the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC) alongside chiefs of staff of the army, navy, and air force. All of the branches work together during operations and joint missions under the Joint Staff Headquarters.

Constitution of Pakistan Current constitution of Pakistan

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, also known as the 1973 Constitution, is the supreme law of Pakistan. Drafted by the government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, with additional assistance from the country's opposition parties, it was approved by the Parliament on 10 April and ratified on 14 August 1973.

Contents

The President is kept informed by the Prime Minister of Pakistan on all matters of internal and foreign policy, as well as all legislative proposals. [4] The Constitution vests the President with the powers of granting pardons, reprieves, and the control of the military; however, all appointments at higher commands of the military must be made by the President on a "required and necessary" basis, upon consultation and approval from the Prime Minister. [5] In addition, the Constitution prohibits the President from exercising the authority of running the government. [6]

Prime Minister of Pakistan Leader of the executive branch of the Government of Pakistan

The Prime Minister of Pakistan is the head of government of Pakistan and designated as the "chief executive of the Republic".

Civilian control of the military is a doctrine in military and political science that places ultimate responsibility for a country's strategic decision-making in the hands of the civilian political leadership, rather than professional military officers. The reverse situation, where professional military officers control national politics, is called a military dictatorship. A lack of control over the military may result in a state within a state. One author, paraphrasing Samuel P. Huntington's writings in The Soldier and the State, has summarized the civilian control ideal as "the proper subordination of a competent, professional military to the ends of policy as determined by civilian authority".

Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, is an administrative body of senior high-ranking uniformed military leaders of the unified Pakistan Armed Forces who advises the civilian Government of Pakistan, National Security Council, Defence Minister, President and Prime minister of Pakistan on important military and non-military strategic matters. It is defined by statute, and consists of a Chairman, the military chiefs from Army, Navy and the Air Force: all four-star officers appointed by the President, on the advice of the Prime minister. The chairman is selected based on seniority and merit from the Chiefs of service of the three branches of the Pakistan Armed and Defense Services. Each service chief, outside their Joint Chiefs of Staff obligations, performs their duty directly for the Ministry of Defence.

The president is indirectly elected by the Parliament of Pakistan through the Electoral College for a five-year term. The Constitution requires the President to be a "Muslim of not less than forty five (45) years of age". The President resides in an estate in Islamabad known as Aiwan-e-Sadar (President's House). There have been a total of 13 Presidents. In the absence of the President, the Senate Chairman takes over as the Acting President until the President resumes office, or the election for the next President is held.

Parliament of Pakistan Federal legislature of Pakistan

The Parliament of Pakistan is the federal and supreme legislative body of Pakistan. It is a bicameral federal legislature that consists of the Senate as the upper house and the National Assembly as the lower house. According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the President of Pakistan is also a component of the Parliament. The National Assembly is elected for a five-year term on the basis of adult franchise and one-man one-vote. The tenure of a Member of the National Assembly is for the duration of the house, or sooner, in case the Member dies or resigns. The tenure of the National Assembly also comes to an end if dissolved on the advice of the Prime Minister or by the president in his discretion under the Constitution.

The President of Pakistan is chosen by an electoral college, in Pakistan. According to Article 41(3) of the Constitution of Pakistan, this electoral college consists of the Senate, the National Assembly of Pakistan, and the Provincial Assemblies of the four provinces. Members of the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies are directly elected by the people in competitive multi-party elections. Members of the Senate are indirectly elected by the provincial assemblies, for a term of five years.

Islam in Pakistan

Islam is the largest and the state religion of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Pakistan has been called a "global center for political Islam".

Powers and authority

Role of the president

The Ceremonial guard of honour at the Aiwan-e-sadr. Pakistan cavalry honor guard.jpeg
The Ceremonial guard of honour at the Aiwan-e-sadr.

The official residence and principal workplace of the president is Aiwan-e-Sadr— the presidential palace located in northeastern Islamabad. The presidency forms the vital institutional organ of state and is part of the bicameral Parliament. [7]

Official residence Residence at which a nations head of state, head of government, governor or other senior figure officially resides

An official residence is the residence at which a nation's head of state, head of government, governor, religious leader, leaders of international organizations, or other senior figure officially resides. It may or may not be the same location where the individual conducts work-related functions or lives.

Aiwan-e-Sadr Official residence of the President of Pakistan

The Aiwan-e-Sadr or The Presidential Palace is the official residence and workplace of the President of Pakistan. The administrative head of Aiwan-e-Sadr is the Principal Secretary to the President of Pakistan.

The president is a common title for the head of state in most republics. In politics, president is a title given to leaders of republican states.

Powers to exercise the authority are limited to the ceremonial figurehead, and required to address the Parliament to give a direction for national policies before being informed of its key decisions. [8] [9] [10]

Power politics is a theory in international relations, which contains the idea that distributions of power and interests, or changes to those distributions, are fundamental causes of war and of system stability.

Authority is the right to exercise power, which can be formalized by a state and exercised by way of judges, appointed executives of government, or the ecclesiastical or priestly appointed representatives of a God or other deities. Authority, in the sense of "authorization", can also mean the right to complete an action or execute an order.

Figurehead person who holds de jure an important title or office, yet de facto executes little actual power

In politics, a figurehead is a person who de jure appears to hold an important and often supremely powerful title or office, yet de facto exercises little to no actual power. This usually means that they are head of state, but not head of government. The metaphor derives from the carved figurehead at the prow of a sailing ship.

In addition, the President is also a civil commander-in-chief of the military, with Chairman joint chiefs being its chief military adviser to maintain the control of the military. [11] After a thorough confirmation comes from the Prime Minister, the President confirms the judicial appointments in the national court system. [12] [13] In addition, the Constitution allows the President to grant pardons, reprieves, and clemency in cases recommended to him by the executive and the judiciary. [14] The President himself has absolute constitutional immunity from criminal and civil proceedings, and no proceedings can be initiated or continued against him during the term of his office. [15]

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee

The Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) is, in principle, the highest-ranking and senior most military officer, typically at four-star rank, in the Pakistan Armed Forces who serves as a principal military adviser to the civilian government led by elected Prime minister of Pakistan and his/her National Security Council. The role of advisement is also extended to the elected members in the bicameral Parliament and the Ministry of Defence. The Chairman leads the meetings and coordinates the combined efforts of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (JCSC), comprising the Chairman, the Chief of Army Staff and Chief of Air Staff and the Chief of Naval Staff, Commandant of Marines, DG Strategic Plans Division, and commanders of the service branches in the paramilitary command.

Judiciary of Pakistan

The judiciary of Pakistan is a hierarchical system with two classes of courts: the superior judiciary and the subordinate judiciary. The superior judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, the Federal Shariat Court and five High Courts, with the Supreme Court at the apex. There is a High Court for each of the four provinces as well as a High Court for the Islamabad Capital Territory. The Constitution of Pakistan entrusts the superior judiciary with the obligation to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. Neither the Supreme Court nor a High Court may exercise jurisdiction in relation to Tribal Areas, except otherwise provided for. The disputed regions of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit–Baltistan have separate court systems.

Government of Pakistan National government

The Government of Pakistan is a federal government established by the Constitution of Pakistan as a constituted governing authority of the four provinces of a parliamentary democratic republic, constitutionally called the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

There shall be a President of Pakistan who shall be the Head of State and shall represent the "unity of the Republic."

Article 41 in Chapter 1: The President of Part III: The Federation of Pakistan in the Constitution of Pakistan, source [16]

From 2000 until 2009, the President was the chairman of the National Security Council who had authority and control over the nuclear and strategic arsenals; however, the chairmanship and the powers transferred back to Prime Minister. [17] Furthermore, the presidential powers have significantly declined with Pakistan's government reversed to a parliamentary democratic republic. [18]

Eligibility and selection process

The Constitution of Pakistan sets the principle qualifications that the candidate must meet to be eligible to the office of the President. [19] A President has to be:

Whenever the Aiwan-e-Sadr becomes vacant, the selection of president is done by the electoral college, which consists of both houses of Parliament (the Senate and National Assembly) and the four provincial assemblies. [20] The Chief Election Commissioner has to conduct elections to the office of the President in a special session. [21] Voting takes place in secrecy. [22]

Each elector casts a different number of votes. [22] The general principle is that the total number of votes cast by members of Parliament equals the total number of votes cast by provincial legislators. [22] Each of the provincial legislatures have an equal number of votes to each other, based on the number of members of the smallest legislature, which is the Balochistan Assembly (65 seats). [22]

The constitution further states that election to the office of President will not be held earlier than sixty days and not later than thirty days before the expiration of the term of the President in office. [22]

Election and oath

The president is elected indirectly for a term of five years. [23] The incumbent president is eligible for re-election to that office, but cannot hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. [24] The president is required to make and subscribe in the presence of the Chief Justice—, an oath or affirmation that the president shall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution as follows:

I, (The name of the President-elect), do solemnly swear that I am a Muslim and believe in the Unity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Qura'an being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah :

That I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan:

That, as President of Pakistan, I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions, honestly, to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well- being and prosperity of Pakistan:

That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions:

That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:

That, in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill- will:

And that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as President of Pakistan, except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as President. May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A'meen).

In Urdu,

بسم اللہ الرحمٰن الرحیم


میں (صدر-منتخب کا نام )صدق دل سے حلف اٹھاتا ہوں کہ میں مسلمان ہوں اور وحدت و توحید قادر مطلق اللہ تعالیٰ کتاب الہٰیہ جن میں قرآن پاک خاتم الکتب اور نبوت حضرت محمد ﷺ بحیثیت خاتم النبیین جن کے بعد کوئی نبی نہیں آسکتا روز قیامت اور قرآن پاک اور سنت کی جملہ مقتدیات و تعلیمات پر ایمان رکھتا ہوں۔ کہ میں خلوص نیت سے پاکستان کا حامی اور وفادار رہوں گا کہ بحیثیت صدر پاکستان میں اپنے فرائض و کارہائے منصبی ایمانداری اپنی انتہائی صلاحیت اور وفاداری کے ساتھ اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان کے دستور اور قانون کے مطابق اور ہمیشہ پاکستان کی خودمختاری سالمیت استحکام یکجہتی اور خوشحالی کی خاطر انجام دوں گا۔ کہ میں اسلامی نظریے کو برقرار رکھنے کے لیے کوشاں رہوں گا جو قیام پاکستان کی بنیاد ہے کہ میں اپنے ذاتی مفاد کو اپنے سرکاری کام یا اپنے سرکاری فیصلوں پر اثر انداز نہیں ہونے دوں گا۔ کہ میں اسلامی جموریہ پاکستان کے دستور کو برقرار رکھوں گا اور اس کا تحفظ اور دفاع کروں گا اور یہ کہ میں ہر حالت میں ہر قسم کے لوگوں کے ساتھ بلا خوف ورعایت اور بلارغبت و عناد قانون کے مطابق انصاف کروں گا اور یہ کہ میں کسی شخص کو بلاواسطہ یا بالواسطہ کسی ایسے معاملے کی نہ اطلاع دوں گا اور نہ ظاہر کروں گاجو بحیثیت صدر پاکستان میرے سامنے غور کیلئے پیش کیا جائے گا یا میرے علم میں آئے بجز جبکہ بحیثیت صدر اپنے فرائض کی کماحقہ انجام دہی کیلئے ایسا کرنا ضروری ہو۔

اللہ تعالیٰ میری مدد اور رہنمائی فرمائے، آمین۔

Article 42 in Chapter 1: The President in Part III: The Federation of Pakistan in the Constitution of Pakistan

Line of succession and removal

The Constitution discusses the possibility of an acting president. [25] Certain office-holders, however, are permitted to stand as presidential candidates in case of vacancy as the constitution does not include a position of vice president:

The President may be removed before the expiry of the term through impeachment. The President can be removed for violation of the Constitution of Pakistan. [27]

The impeachment process may start in either of the two houses of the Parliament. The house initiates the process by leveling the charges against the President. [28] The charges are contained in a notice that has to be signed by either the Chairman or the Speaker National Assembly through a two-third majority. [28] The notice is sent up to the President, and 14 days later it is taken up for consideration. [29]

A resolution to impeach the President has to be passed by the two-third majority. [30] The Speaker National Assembly then summons the joint session not earlier than seven days. [31] The President has the right to defend oneself. [32]

If the resolution is passed by the two-third majority at the joint session declaring that the President is unfit to hold the office due to incapacity or is guilty of violating the Constitution or of gross misconduct, then the President shall cease to hold office immediately on the passing of the resolution. [33]

No president has faced impeachment proceedings. However, the proceedings have been used in 2008 in an attempt to impeach former president Pervez Musharraf who tendered the resignation after the proceedings above were used. [34]

List of Presidents

Chronological list of Presidents with tenure

  1. Iskander Mirza [35] (23 March 1956 – 27 October 1958)
  2. Ayub Khan [35] (27 October 1958 – 25 March 1969)
  3. Yahya Khan [35] (25 March 1969 – 20 December 1971)
  4. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto [35] (20 December 1971 – 13 August 1973)
  5. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry [35] (14 August 1973–September 1978)
  6. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq [35] (16 September 1978 – 17 August 1988)
  7. Ghulam Ishaq Khan [35] (17 August 1988 – 18 July 1993)
  8. Farooq Leghari [35] (14 November 1993 – 2 December 1997)
  9. Rafiq Tarar [35] (1 January 1998 – 21 June 2001)
  10. Pervez Musharraf [35] (20 June 2001 – 18 August 2008)
  11. Asif Ali Zardari [35] (9 September 2008 – 8 September 2013)
  12. Mamnoon Hussain [35] (9 September 2013 – 8 September 2018)
  13. Arif Alvi [35] (9 September 2018 – present)

Living former Presidents

Political background

Presidential standard (1956-1967) Presidential Standard of Pakistan (1956-1967).svg
Presidential standard (1956–1967)

Early origins

From 1947 until 1956, the Governor-General of Pakistan acted for the head of state: King George VI (until 1952) and Queen Elizabeth II (from 1952). With the promulgation of the first Constitution, Pakistan became an Islamic republic in 1956, and the Governor-General was replaced with the presidency. The incumbent Governor-General, Iskander Mirza, became Pakistan's first president. He reportedly suspended the first Constitution in 1958, and appointed Army Commander-in-Chief General Ayub Khan as the first chief martial law administrator. Khan subsequently dismissed Mirza in order to become the president.

The second Constitution introduced by President Ayub Khan turned the country into a presidential republic without direct elections. Succumbing to internal and international pressure, however, Khan held a nationwide presidential election in 1965. Khan successfully campaigned against his opponent, Fatima Jinnah, for a second term, but some have alleged that elections were rigged in favour of Khan.

Presidential standard (1974-1998) Presidential Standard of Pakistan (1974-1998).svg
Presidential standard (1974–1998)

Controversy regarding the U-2 incident (1960), privatization (1963), and war with India (1965), fueled a fierce left-wing opposition movement led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of the PPP and Bengali nationalist Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who, with the support of demonstrators, aimed to further weaken the presidency. Suffering from paralysis and declining health, Ayub Khan handed over the presidency to army chief General Yahya Khan, who imposed martial law and announced that nationwide elections would be held in 1970. Eventually, general elections were held in 1970 which saw the PPP gaining a majority of seats in West Pakistan (current day Pakistan) and the Awami League gaining a majority in East Pakistan (current day Bangladesh).

After he was unable to reach a compromise between the PPP and the Awami League, President Yahya Khan invited Nurul Amin of the Pakistan Muslim League to become the Prime Minister, and also appointed him as the first Vice President. The growing instigated violence against Pakistanis in East Pakistan forced President Yahya Khan to use force in order to maintain order there, which further escalated Bengali resistance (1970). Preemptive strikes against India led to another war in 1971, which freed East Pakistan and created Bangladesh.

Taking personal responsibility for the political isolation and devastation of Pakistan after the fall of East Pakistan, President Yahya Khan stepped down and ceded power to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. President Bhutto created the current Constitution of Pakistan in 1973, transforming Pakistan into a parliamentary democracy, and reducing presidential powers to that of a ceremonial figurehead.

Past Interventions

The general elections held in 1977 resulted in an atmosphere of civil unrest instigated by the right-wing alliance, the Pakistan National Alliance. The events leading to it resulted in military intervention by chief of army staff General Zia-ul-Haq and Chairman Joint Chiefs Admiral Mohammad Shariff. Suspending the Constitution in 1977, General Zia-ul-Haq took over the presidency in 1978. Zia's presidency oversaw the modern growth of far-right ideas in the country. Succumbing to domestic pressure to restore the Constitution, President Zia-ul-Haq held a referendum (1984) and called for general elections in 1985. President Zia-ul-Haq appointed Mohammad Junejo as Prime Minister and assumed more powers through the constitutional amendment. After dismissing Prime Minister Junejo, President Zia-ul-Haq announced that new general elections would be held, but President Zia died in a plane crash in 1988.

The general elections held in 1988 witnessed the victory of PPP in 1988, and appointed Chairman Senate Ghulam Ishaq Khan to the presidency. Conflict between Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan arose in two areas regarding the issues of appointments. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan repeatedly intervened in government matters and leveled charges against Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto; thus dismissing Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 1990. After holding general elections in 1990, Nawaz Sharif brought up an ideologically conservative government and President Ghulam Ishaq Khan unsuccessfully tried to dismiss Sharif. After a successful intervention by Supreme Court and Chairman Joint Chiefs General Shamim Allam, President Ghulam Ishaq Khan and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tendered resignations in 1993.

Following the new elections held in 1993, Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto established a strong government after appointing loyalist Farooq Leghari to the presidency. However, the corruption charges and the controversial death of Murtaza Bhutto in 1996 resulted in President Farooq Leghari dismissing Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. In 1997, President Farooq Leghari could not overcome the heavy mandate bestowed on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by the public in 1997. President Leghari unsuccessfully supported Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah— both of them resigned, ending the conflict between the Judiciary, the Executive, and the Parliament. After appointing Rafiq Tarar, the Parliament successfully passed constitutional amendment to decisively limit the presidency. After staging a controversial self coup in 1999, General Pervez Musharraf dismissed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and President Rafiq Tarar in 2001 while assuming more powers to the presidency. In January 2004, the Electoral College elected Musharraf, and as a result he was, according to the Constitution, "deemed to be elected". [36]

President Musharraf's repeated unconstitutional intervention resulted in a standoff with the Judiciary, and declared a state of emergency in 2007, after dismissing the senior justices of the Supreme Court. Although Musharraf was elected in 2007, the constitutional legality of Musharraf's rule was found dubious. A populist constitutional movement eventually resulted in Musharraf's departure. On 22 August 2008, the electoral commission called for presidential nominations to be delivered by 26 August 2008 and for elections to be held on 6 September 2008. [37] [38]

Figurehead overview

After the presidential election held in 2008, Asif Ali Zardari lobbied for constitutional amendment to restore the Constitution as it was in 1973. [39] [40] [41] [42] In 2010, the Parliament unanimously and with a large majority, passed the eighteenth amendment of the constitution. It revoked the presidential powers and changed Pakistan from a semi-presidential system of government to a parliamentary republic, with great hopes of governmental stability in the future.

See also

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Composite Nationalism and Islam, titled Muttahida Qaumiyat Aur Islam is a book written in 1938 by Husain Ahmad Madani espousing a united India for both Muslims and non-Muslims. The book opposed the partition of India and in it Madani advocated for "the ideal of a 'composite nationalism' within an united India, which he thought would be more conducive to the spread and prosperity of his community over the entire subcontinent than any religious partition."

References

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  2. Article 243(3) Archived 2015-03-21 at the Wayback Machine in Chapter 2: The Armed Forces. Part XII: Miscellaneous in the Constitution of Pakistan.
  3. 1 2 Article 41(1) Archived 2016-02-04 at the Wayback Machine in Chapter 1: The President, Part III: The Federation of Pakistan in the Constitution of Pakistan.
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  34. See: Movement to impeach Pervez Musharraf
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