The Parliament of Pakistan

Population 187,342,721 (es2011)
Seat of Parliament Islamabad
Date of Independence Aug 14 1947
Constitution Islamic Federal Republic
CPA Branch Formed Jan 1 1948
Voting Age 18
First Parliament
Local Information

Branch Profile History
After Independence, the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, elected in December 1945 in undivided India, was assigned the task of framing the Constitution of Pakistan. However, before it could accomplish the task of framing the constitution, it was dissolved in October 1954. Thereafter, the Governor General, convened the Second Constituent Assembly in May 1955, framed and passed the first Constitution of Pakistan on 29th February 1956. The Constitution was promulgated on 23rd March 1956, which provided for a parliamentary form of Government with a unicameral legislature.
However, from 14th August 1947 to 1st March 1956 the Government of India Act 1935 was retained as the Constitution of Pakistan.

On October 7 1958 Martial Law was promulgated and the Constitution abrogated. The Military Government appointed a Constitution Commission in February 1960 which framed the 1962 Constitution. The 1962 Constitution provided for a Presidential form of Government with a unicameral legislature and was abrogated on the 25th March 1969. The Civil Government, which came to power in December 1971 pursuant to 1970 elections, gave the nation an interim Constitution in the year 1972.

The 1970 Assembly framed the 1973 Constitution which was passed on 12th April and promulgated on 14th August 1973. From 1947 to 1973 the country had a unicameral system of legislature, however the 1973 Constitution provides for a bicameral system at the centre called ?The Parliament?, comprising the President, The Senate and the National Assembly. Originally, the general seats of the National Assembly were 200 with additional 10 seats reserved for women, bringing the total strength to 210. The newly created Upper House, i.e. the Senate had 63 members. The Senate now has 100 members, 88 of them elected by the provincial assemblies, eight chosen by tribal agencies, and four elected by the National Assembly. Under the 18th Constitutional Amendment four seats for minorities have been allocated in the Senate; one from each province, increasing the number of total seats to 104, which will take effect after the next Senate elections in March 2012. The National Assembly has 342 members including ten elected by non-Muslim minorities and 60 elected women. The term of the National Assembly is five years; the term of the Senate is six years, with half of membership of the Senate renewed after every three years.
On 18 February 2008, the country held its general elections after two times former Prime Minister and Pakistan People?s Party (PPP) Chairperson Muhtarma Benazir Bhutto?s assassination postponed the original date of 8th January 2008. The PPP, led by Asif Ali Zardari after assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto, won the majority of the votes. By the end of February, the PPP and the PML (N), led by another two time former Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, had agreed to form a coalition government. They nominated and elected as Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, who was sworn into office on 25 March 2008. On 18th of August 2008, Pervez Musharraf resigned as President of Pakistan amidst increasing calls for his impeachment. In the presidential election that followed, Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan People?s Party won a landslide majority and became President of Pakistan.

Eighteenth Constitutional Amendment was passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan on April 8 2010, removing the power of the President of Pakistan to dissolve the National Assembly unilaterally, turning Pakistan from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary republic and renaming North-West Frontier Province to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The package is expected to counter the sweeping powers amassed by the Presidency under former Presidents General (Rctd.) Pervez Musharraf and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and to ease political instability in Pakistan over several decades by its military rulers. The amendment bill was passed by the Senate of Pakistan on April 15 2010 and became an act of Parliament when President Asif Ali Zardari put his signatures on it on April 19 2010. It was for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a president relinquished a significant part of his powers willingly and transferred them to parliament and the office of the prime minister.

Principal parties
Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (F) (JUI(F)); Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); Pakistan Movement for Justice (PTI); Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML(N)); Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) (PML(Q)); Pakistan People's Party (Parliamentarians) (PPP).

Most recent elections
Presidential: 30 July 2013.


Mamnoon Hussain (PML(N)) 432 votes; Wajihuddin Ahmed (PTI) 77 votes. Results of the 2008 election: Asif Ali Zardari (PPP) 481 votes; Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui (PML(N)) 153 votes; Mushahid Hussain Syed (PML(Q)) 44 votes.

PML(N) candidate Mamnoon Hussain won the 2013 indirect presidential election, which was boycotted by the PPP and its allies. Hussain took office on 8 September 2013, succeeding Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the PPP.

Legislative: 11 May 2013 (National Assembly); 2 March 2012 (54 seats of Senate). Indirect partial elections for the Senate are due in March 2015.


Lower house (National Assembly): PML(N) 126 seats; PPP 31 seats; PTI 29 seats; MQM 18 seats; JUI(F) 11 seats; others 28 seats; independents 29 seats; reserved for women 60 seats; reserved for non-Muslim minorities 10 seats.

Upper house (full standing in Senate after 2012 partial election): PPP 41 seats; PML(N) 14 seats; ANP 12 seats; MQM 7 seats; JUI(F) 7 seats; PML(Q) 5 seats; others 6 seats; independents 12 seats.

In the May 2013 National Assembly elections the PML(N), the branch of the Pakistan Muslim League led by Nawaz Sharif, won more than four times as many seats as the next party, the former ruling PPP led by President Zardari. With 50 of the 70 reserved seats also assigned to PML(N) supporters, Nawaz Sharif thus commanded an overall majority.

Composition of government
Following the May 2013 elections, Nawaz Sharif of the PML(N) was elected prime minister by parliament on 5 June. His cabinet, which included one member of the allied party PML (Functional), was sworn in two days later. The JUI(F) agreed to join the government in late August.
On 19 June the law minister announced that he wished to step down from his portfolio. Three days later he was transferred to science and technology, with the former minister of state for that portfolio transferred to privatization; Nawaz Sharif took on the law portfolio himself. A new minister of inter-provincial co-ordination was appointed on 27 June and a new minister of state for water and power was appointed on 22 July. The adviser on civil aviation offered his resignation on 26 July and it was accepted on 1 August, but he was appointed as special assistant on civil aviation on 22 January 2014. New special assistants and advisers were appointed on 26 August, 13 October and 28 October 2013 and on 9 January and 28 January 2014, while one of the advisers resigned on 20 January 2014. On 27 November 2013 the prime minister relinquished the defence and information portfolios to the minister of water and power and the minister of information, broadcasting and national heritage respectively. A new chair of the joint chiefs of staff committee and chief of army staff were appointed on 28 November. The minister of state for privatization was given additional charge of the commerce and textiles portfolio on 2 December, and a new minister of state for privatization was appointed on 14 December. On 16 January the minister of state for commerce and textiles was promoted to federal minister (for commerce). On the same day two JUI(F) members and an independent MP from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) joined the government; however assignment of portfolios was delayed, with the independent MP assigned to administer the textile industry on 19 March and the JUI(F) minister and minister of state finally assigned on 20 June. The minister of state for railways offered his resignation on 28 April, but this was not accepted and he was transferred to the ministry of communications on 5 June. The minister of state for housing and works was reallocated the portfolio of capital administration and development on 20 June. The science and technology minister resigned on 25 November. A new minister was approved on 5 January 2015, sworn in the following day, and on 10 January assigned the environment and climate change portfolio, which was upgraded to a ministry.

Gilgit-Baltistan was designated by the Pakistani government on 29 August 2009 as a self-governing entity with 'province-like' status (but without integration into Pakistan proper).

Part of this information is provided by People in Power.

Chamber 1

Chamber Senate
No of Seats 100
No of Women 17
Date of Last Election 04 Mar 2009
Term 6 years
No of Parties 13

Chamber 2

Chamber National Assembly
No of Seats 338
No of Women 77
Date of Last Election 18 Feb 2008
Term 5 years
No of Parties 10


Number of Departmental/Ministry Oversight Committees: There are 27 Department/Ministry Oversight Committees in the Senate. These include 24 Standing Committees and three Functional Committees. the Functional Committeees are (i) Committee on Government Assurances; (ii) Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas and (iii) Committee on Human Rights.
Number of Joint Committees (if bicameral):
Names of House Management (such as Privileges or Procedure) Committees: (i) Committee on Rules of Procedure 7 Privileges: The Committee on Rules of Procedure & Privileges considers matters regarding the procedure and conduct of business in the House and disposes of the Privilege Motions moved by the members of the House from time to time. As per Rule 147, it consists of not more than eight members elected by the Senate; while the Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affiairs act as its ex-officio member. (ii) House Committee: It supervises arrangements for the residential accommodation and related matters of the Senators and also deals with matters like issuance of admission cards fro the galleries. As per Rule 149, it consists of not more than six members elected by the Senate. The Deputy Chairman Senate is the ex-officio Chairman of this Committee. (iii)Library Committee: It is established under Rule 151 and its functions are to develop the library and Reference Service and to invite suggestion and advise on the selection of booka etc. It also considers suggestions for further expansion of the library and assists and encourages the members of Parliament in fully utilizing the services provided by the library. It consists of four members, including its Chairman, nominated by the Chairman Senate. (iv)Finance Committee of the Senate: There is a Finance Committee of the Senate constituted under Article 88 of the Constitution. Expenditure of the Senate within authorized appropriations is controlled by the Senate itself on the advice of its Finance Committee which consists of the Minister for Finance and such other members as may be elected by the Senate. the Chairman of the Senate is the Chairman and Secretary Senate is ex-officio Secretary of the Finance Committee. The Committee approves the budget for the Senate for inclusion in the Federal Budget and also advises the Senate in regard to control the expenditure to be incurred within the authorized appropriations.


Are reports or recommendations from committees debated in the Chamber: It is open to the House to discuss any of the reports presented by the Committees.
Must Ministers provide substantive responses to committee reports/recommendations and, if so, what is the time limit for providing responses? Yes. There is no specific time limit for providing responses.


Does Parliament or a committee have formal input into the formulation of the budget? Yes. The preparation of the Budget is the responsibility of the government, however the Parliament can accept, reject, modify any of the budget proposals after its presentation in the House.
What is the normal time between the presentation of the budget to Members and its passage by Parliament? Six weeks.

Committee staffing

How much Chamber and committee time is normally spent in scrutinizing the budget prior to passage? Four weeks.
Number of Clerks to service committees: Each committee is served by an exclusive Secretary to the Committee.
Do committees have access to subject specialist researchers from parliamentary staff? Yes. There is a research cell in the Senate. Members serving on various committees can seek research information on specific issues under consideration of the committee.
Do committees have access to funds to hire external subject specialist advisors? No exclusive funds are at the disposal of committees for this purpose. Under the inherent powers of Parliamentary Committees to send for persons, papers and records, any committee can decide to have advice of a subjwect specialist or expert. Such specialists or experts, if so required by the Committee, are given travel allowance/daily allowance and accommodation cost as per their entitlement from the general budget of the Senate.

Members of Parliament/Legislature

Name Position Address Title Contact Info
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, MNA Joint Branch President Internat. Relations & Interparl. Affairs
Constitution Avenue, Parliament House
Islamabad 44000
Acting Speaker P: (9251) 9203734
F: (+92-51) 920-8495
Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani Joint Branch President Internat. Relations & Interparl. Affairs
Constitution Avenue, Parliament House
Islamabad 44000
P: (9251) 9203734
F: (+92-51) 920-8495
Mr Tahir Hussain Branch Secretary Internat. Relations & Interparl. Affairs
Constitution Avenue, Parliament House
Islamabad 44000
Secretary National Assembly Secretariat P: (9251) 920 3734
F: (+92-51) 920-4673