UPDATE: A Legal Research Guide to Pakistan
By Omar Sial
Omar Sial is a partner in the law firm of Omar Sial & Associates, Advocates and Counselors-at-Law.
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Table of Contents
8.3 Shariat Court
8.4 Civil Courts
8.5 Criminal Courts
Pakistan emerged as an independent State on August 14, 1947. Pakistan is divided into four provinces, those being the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The tribal belt adjoining NWFP is managed by the Federal Government and is named Federally Administered Tribal Areas, referred to as FATA. Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas have their own respective political and administrative machinery, yet some certain subjects of these areas are taken care of by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas. Islamabad is the federal capital. Over 97 per cent of the country's population is Muslim.
Located in South Asia, Pakistan shares an eastern border with India and north-eastern border with China. Iran lies along the country’s southwest border, and Afghanistan runs along its western and northern borders. The southern boundary of Pakistan is made up of the 1,064 km coastline of the Arabian Sea.
The total area of the country is 796,095 square km, which is nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom. From Gwadar Bay in its southeastern corner, the country extends more than 1,800 km to the Khunjerab Pass on China’s border.
Since its establishment in 1947, Pakistan has had three constitutions, adopted in 1956, 1962, and 1973. The 1973 constitution was the result of a consensus among the political parties which were then in parliament.
The 1973 Constitution of Pakistan was enacted by the National Assembly on April 10, 1973. On July 5, 1977, the Constitution was held in abeyance by the Proclamation of Martial Law issued by General M. Zia-ul-Haq. The 1985 Revival of the Constitution of 1973 Order (President's Order No. 14 of 1985) and the 1985 Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act (XVIII of 1985) brought about major amendments to the Constitution. The Constitution was revived in 1985 through the Enforcement of the Constitution Order on March 10, 1985
The whole of Pakistan once again came under the control of the Armed Forces of Pakistan on October 12, 1999, by virtue of the Proclamation of Emergency issued by General Pervez Musharraf, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff. By virtue of the said Proclamation, Musharraf also assumed the office of Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The Constitution was again held in abeyance by the Provisional Constitution Order No. 1 of 1999, issued by the Chief Executive on October 14, 1999. However, Article 2 of the said Order provided that notwithstanding the abeyance of the Constitution, Pakistan shall, subject to the said Order and any other Order made by the Chief Executive, be governed, as nearly as may be, in accordance with the Constitution.
The Constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Act of 2003 validated and affirmed all the amendments made in the Constitution by the Legal Framework Order, 2002.
Several amendments were made to the Constitution by the (now former) President Pervez Musharaf. A brief summary of these changes is as follows:
December 25, 2007
Pakistan Penal Code (Act XLV of 1860) - up-to-date with all amendments. Last amending law: Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act, 2006.
December 15, 2007
Revocation of Proclamation of Emergency Order, 2007, issued revoking the Proclamation of Emergency and Provisional Constitution Order issued on November 3rd, 2007 and restoring the Constitution.
December 14, 2007
December 14, 2007
Constitution (Second Amendment) Order, 2007 Note: The text of the Constitution presented here does not incorporate these amendments yet.
November 21, 2007
Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007 (dated November 3, 2007)
November 21, 2007
Constitution (Amendment) Order, 2007 issued to indemnify the Proclamation of Emergency issued on November 3, 2007 and actions taken thereunder, and also to establish a High Court in Islamabad. Note: The text of the Constitution presented here does not incorporate these amendments yet.
November 15, 2007
November 5, 2007
October 5, 2007
July 20, 2007
The thirteen-member bench of the Supreme Court set aside the Presidential reference against the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Mr. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, and declared invalid the presidential action which sent the Chief Justice on forced leave. The Chief Justice was reinstated in office. Text of Short Order
June 25, 2007
June 24, 2007
President to Hold Another Office Act, 2004. - allows President Musharraf to continue to hold the office of Chief of Army Staff in his current term as President.
A comprehensive article on the history of the Constitution can be found here.
An updated Constitution can be found here.
Article 1 of the 1973 Constitution declares that Pakistan’s official name shall be the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and Article 2 declares Islam the state religion. The Objectives Resolution of the preamble of the Constitution was made a part of its substantive provisions by the insertion of Article 2A in 1985, thereby requiring all laws to be brought into consonance with the Quran and Sunnah. Chapter 3A establishes the Federal Shariat Court. Part IX of the Constitution is entitled “Islamic Provisions” and provides for the eventual Islamization of all existing laws, reaffirming that no laws repugnant to the injunctions of Islam are to be enacted.
A comprehensive article on the Islamic influence on the provisions of the Constitution can be found here.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan provides for a Federal Parliamentary System of government, with the President as the Head of State and the popularly elected Prime Minister as Head of government. The Federal Legislature is a bicameral Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament), composed of the National Assembly and the Senate.
Pakistan is divided into four provinces. These are, Balochistan, the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, and Sindh. Governors are appointed by the President to head each of the four Provinces. Each Province has a directly elected Provincial Assembly headed by a Chief Minister. The Provincial Governments may legislate in certain areas, such as health, education, agriculture, and municipal planning.
Members of the National Assembly are popularly elected by the adult population, as Pakistan allows universal suffrage for all citizens over the age of eighteen. Seats are allocated on the basis of population to each of the four Provinces, as well as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the Islamabad Capital Territory. The length of the parliamentary term is five years, which all National Assembly members serve, unless they die or resign sooner, or the National Assembly is dissolved. Although the vast majority of the members are Muslim, about 5 percent of the seats are reserved for minorities, including Christians, Hindus, and Sikhs. Elections for minority seats are held on the basis of separate electorates at the same time as the polls for Muslim seats during the general elections.
The Senate is a permanent legislative body with equal representation from each of the four Provinces, with representatives elected by the members of their respective Provincial Assemblies. There are also representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and from the Islamabad Capital Territory. The Chairman of the Senate, under the Constitution, is next in line to act as President should the office become vacant and until such time as a new President can be formally elected.
Both the Senate and the National Assembly can initiate and pass legislation, with the exception of finance bills; only the National Assembly can approve the federal budget and all finance bills. In the case of other bills, the president may prevent passage unless the legislature, in joint sitting, overrules the president by a majority of members of both houses present and voting.
The Prime Minister must be nominated by a majority of members in the National Assembly. That individual is then appointed as Prime Minister by the President. The Prime Minister is assisted by the Federal Cabinet, a council of ministers whose members are appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.
The President of Pakistan is Pakistan's Head of State. The majority party in the National Assembly is usually instrumental in nominating and electing a person as the President. At various times in history, changes in the Constitution of Pakistan have altered the powers and privileges associated with the office of the President. At present, Pakistan has a semi-presidential system of government. (The semi-presidential system is a system of government that features both a prime minister and a president who are active participants in the day-to-day functioning of government).
The President, in keeping with the constitutional provision that the state religion is Islam, must be a Muslim. The President is elected for a five-year term by an electoral college consisting of members of the Senate and National Assembly and members of the provincial assemblies. The President is eligible for reelection, but no individual may hold the office for more than two consecutive terms. The president may resign, or may be impeached and removed from office for incapacity or gross misconduct by a two-thirds vote of the members of the parliament. The president generally acts on the advice of the Prime Minister, but also has important residual powers. One of the most important--a legacy of Zia--is contained in the Eighth Amendment, which gives the president the power to dissolve the National Assembly "in his discretion where, in his opinion . . . a situation has arisen in which the Government of the Federation cannot be carried on in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and an appeal to the electorate is necessary."
Pakistan's four provinces each enjoy considerable autonomy. Each province has a governor, a Council of Ministers headed by a chief minister appointed by the governor, and a provincial assembly. Members of the provincial assemblies are elected by universal adult suffrage. Provincial assemblies also have reserved seats for minorities. Although there is a well-defined division of responsibilities between federal and provincial governments, there are some functions on which both can make laws and establish departments for their execution. Most of the services in areas such as health, education, agriculture, and roads, for example, are provided by the provincial governments. Although the federal government can also legislate in these areas, it generally only makes national policy and handles international aspects of those services.
The Constitution sets out the procedure to be followed for promulgating a statute. Broadly, this requires a Bill to be passed by both Houses of Parliament – the National Assembly and the Senate. Upon a Bill’s passage through both Houses, it is presented to the President of Pakistan for assent and becomes an Act of Parliament upon receiving such assent. In the absence of the National Assembly, statutes are promulgated by the President pursuant to Article 89(1) of the Constitution. Under this Article, the President may, if satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary to take immediate action, make and promulgate an Ordinance without the consent of Parliament. Such Ordinances have the same force and effect as an Act of Parliament. A similar power is bestowed upon Provincial Governors by Article 128(1) of the Constitution regarding matters which fall within provincial legislative authority.
The Law and Justice Division is an advisory and consultative body to the Federal Government. There is a Law Department operating under the supervision and control of the Law and Justice Division in each province.
The Law and Justice Division is generally called upon, from time to time, to tender advice on various important and controversial constitutional and legal issues.
Drafting ordinances and bills is a major function and responsibility of the Law and Justice Division, which is looked after by the Drafting Wing. The other major function and responsibility of the Division is to be in charge of all litigation on behalf of the Government of Pakistan.
The Law and Justice Division is also involved in the appointment of Law Officers, including Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General and Standing Counsel. It also approves the appointment of legal advisers, with the assistance of a committee comprised of the Attorney General, the Law and Justice Minister and the Law and Justice Secretary.
The Federal Judicial Academy was set up by the Law and Justice Ministry in September, 1988 for the adequate training of Judges, Government law officers, police officers and doctors dealing with medical legal cases.
There is a Supreme Court in Pakistan and a High Court in each province, and other courts exercising civil and criminal jurisdiction. The Supreme Court and High Courts were established under the Constitution, and other Courts have been established by or under the Acts of Parliament or Acts of Provincial Assemblies.
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the judicial system of Pakistan. It consists of as the Chief Justice of Pakistan and such number of other judges as may be determined by Acts of Parliament. The Chief Justice of Pakistan is appointed by the President. Other Judges are also appointed by the President after consultation with the Chief Justice. The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court, to the exclusion of every other Court in Pakistan, has the jurisdiction to pronounce declaratory judgments in any dispute between the Federal Government and a provincial government or between any two or more provincial governments. The Supreme Court also has the power to make any appropriate order necessary to ensure the protection and provision of fundamental rights.
The Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from judgments, decrees, final orders or sentences passed by a High Court, the Federal Shariat Court and the Services Appellate Tribunals. An appeal to the Supreme Court can be made as a matter of right for certain cases, while for the rest the Court must grant permission to hear an appeal.
If, at any time, the President considers that it is desirable to obtain the opinion of the Supreme Court on any question of law which he considers of public importance, he may refer the question to the Supreme Court for consideration. The Supreme Court considers the question so referred and reports its opinion to the President.
The permanent seat of the Supreme Court is at Islamabad, but it also runs circuits at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.
The Supreme Court may, if it considers it expedient to do so in the interest of justice, transfer any case, appeal or other proceedings pending before any High Court to any other High Court.
The practice and procedure of the Court is regulated by rules made by the Court. All executive and judicial authorities throughout Pakistan are required to act in aid of the Supreme Court. Any decision of the Supreme Court, to the extent that it decides a question of law or is based upon or enunciates a principle of law, is binding on all courts in Pakistan. The Supreme Court has the power to review any judgment pronounced by or any order made by the Court.
There is a High Court in each of the four provinces of Pakistan. On December 14, 2007, a High Court for the Islamabad Capital Territory was established through an Executive Order made by the (now former) President Pervez Musharaf. A High Court consists of a Chief Justice and as many other Judges as may be determined by law or as may be fixed by the President. High Courts have both original and appellate jurisdiction.
A High Court has, under the Constitution, original jurisdiction to make an order:
(i) Directing a person within the territorial jurisdiction of the Court to refrain from doing anything which he is not permitted to do by law, or to do anything which he is required to do by law;
(ii) Declaring that any act done by a person without lawful authority is of no legal effect;
(iii) Directing that a person in custody be brought before the Court, so that the Court may satisfy itself that he is not being held unlawfully;
(iv) Giving such directions as are necessary to any person or authority for the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution.
(v) Besides the original jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution, a High Court has original jurisdiction in many other matters conferred by or under various laws.
High Courts have extensive appellate jurisdiction over the judgments, decisions, decrees and sentences passed by the civil and criminal courts.
High Courts also have the power to make rules regulating their practice and procedure, as well as the practice and procedure of lower courts. Each High Court supervises and controls all courts subordinate to it and any decision of a High Court binds all courts subordinate to it.
The Federal Shariat Court is comprised of eight Muslim Judges, including the Chief Justice, who is appointed by the President. Of the Judges, four are persons qualified to be Judges of the High Courts, while three are Ulema (scholars well-versed in Islamic Law). The Federal Shariat Court has original and appellate jurisdiction.
The Court may examine and decide questions regarding whether or not any law or provision of law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam as laid down in the Holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet. If the Court decides that any law or provision of law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, it sets out the extent to which such law or provision of law is so repugnant, and specifies the day on which the decision shall take effect. Where any law is held to be repugnant to the injunctions of Islam, the President, in the case of Federal law, or the Governor, in the case of a Provincial law, is required to take steps to amend the law so as to bring it in conformity with the injunctions of Islam, and such law ceases to have effect from the specified date.
The Court has exclusive jurisdiction to hear appeals from the decision of criminal courts under any law relating to enforcement of Hudood Law, i.e. laws pertaining to offences of intoxication, theft, Zina (unlawful sexual intercourse), and Qazf (false imputation of Zina).
In every district of a Province, there is a Court of District Judge, which is the principal court of original jurisdiction in civil matters.
Besides the Court of District Judge, there are courts of Civil Judges. Civil Judges function under the supervision and control of the District Judge, and all matters of civil nature originate in the courts of these Judges. The District Judge may, however, withdraw any case from any Civil Judge and try it himself if he sees fit. Appeals against the judgments and decrees passed by the Civil Judges, in cases where the value of the suit does not exceed some specified amount, are brought to the District Judge.
In every district, there is a Court of Sessions Judge and Courts of Magistrates.
Criminal cases punishable by death and cases arising out of the enforcement of laws relating to Hudood are tried by Sessions Judges. The Court of a Sessions Judge is competent to pass any sentence authorized by law. Offences not punishable by death are tried by Magistrates. Among the Magistrates there are Magistrates of 1st Class, 2nd Class and 3rd Class. An appeal against the sentence passed by a Sessions Judge goes to the High Court. An appeal against the sentence passed by a Magistrate goes to the Sessions Judge if the term of sentence is up to four years, and otherwise goes to the High Court.
Certain Special Courts and Tribunals have been created to deal with specific types of cases. These are: Special Courts for Trial of Offences in Banks, Special Courts for Recovery of Bank Loans, Special Courts under the Customs Act, Special Traffic Courts, Courts of Special Judges for Anti-Corruption, Commercial Courts, Drug Courts, Labor Courts, Insurance Appellate Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Accountability Courts, Anti-Terrorism Courts and Services Tribunals. Appeals from the Special Courts go to the High Courts, except in case of Labor Courts and Special Traffic Courts, which have separate forums of appeal.
The Concept Mohtasib (Ombudsman) is an ancient Islamic concept, and many Islamic States have established the office of Mohtasib to ensure that no wrong or injustice is done to the citizens. In the 18th century, when King Charles XII of Sweden was in exile in Turkey, he observed the working and efficacy of this institution in the Ottoman Caliphate. Upon regaining his throne, the King established a similar institution in Sweden. Gradually, other developed western countries also adopted this institution.
In Pakistan, the establishment of the institution of Ombudsman was advocated on several occasions. Article 276 of the Interim constitution of 1972 provided for the appointment of a Federal Ombudsman as well as Provincial Ombudsmen for the first time. Subsequently, the Constitution of 1973 included the Federal Ombudsman at item 13 of the Federal Legislative List in the Fourth Schedule.
Still, the Institution of Ombudsman was not actually brought into being until 1983, through the Establishment of the Office of Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order. The Wafaqi Mohtasib is appointed by the President of Pakistan and holds office for a period of four years. He is assured of security of tenure and cannot be removed from office except on ground of misconduct or of physical or mental incapacity.
The chief purpose of the Wafaqi Mohtasib is to diagnose, investigate, redress and rectify any injustice done to a person through maladministration on the part of a Federal Agency or a Federal Government official. The primary objective of the office is to institutionalize a system for enforcing administrative accountability.
The term "maladministration" has been defined in the law governing the office of Mohtasib, to cover a very wide spectrum, encompassing every conceivable form of administrative practice. It includes a decision, process, recommendation, an act of omission or commission, which:
(a) is contrary to law, rules or regulations or is a departure from established practice or procedure;
(b) is perverse, arbitrary or unreasonable, unjust, biased, oppressive or discriminatory or is based on irrelevant grounds;
(c) involves the exercise of powers, or the failure or refusal to exercise powers, for corrupt or improper motives.
It also includes neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency, and ineptitude in the administration, or in the discharge of duties and responsibilities. The term "Agency" has been defined as a Ministry, Division, Department, commission, or Office of the Federal Government, or a Statutory corporation, or any other institution established or controlled by the Federal Government.
If the Mohtasib finds an element of poor administration in any matter, he can, after investigating the matter, ask the Agency concerned to consider the matter further, to modify or cancel its decision, to take disciplinary action against any public servant, to dispose of the cases within a specified time, or to improve the working of the Agency, or to otherwise take any other specified steps. Failure on the part of an Agency to comply with the Ombudsman's recommendation is treated as "Defiance of Recommendations" which may lead to referral of the matter to the President of Pakistan, who, in his discretion may force the Agency to implement the recommendations.
The Mohtasib is empowered to award compensation to an aggrieved person for any loss or damage suffered by that person due to maladministration. But, if the complaint is found to be false or frivolous, he can also award compensation to the Agency or the functionary against whom the complaint was made.
Jirga, a Persian word, means a gathering or a consultation. Tribes had recourse to jirga to solve their various problems, and hence jirga is now known as the tribal justice system. What started as an informal, community-based body that was meant to settle small claims, the ‘jirga’, or council of tribal elders, has in Pakistan been allowed to emerge as a powerful force protecting the interests of the powerful. A recent report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on jirgas traces their history, citing several published sources according to which a British officer, Lt. Sandeman, introduced this system of resolving disputes among the Baloch tribes, although it already existed in the Peshawar area.
On April 24, 2004, the Sindh High Court imposed a ban on holding jirgas in the province, but government functionaries, ranging from chief ministers to union council nazims, continue to participate in these meetings, according to the list compiled from newspaper reports by the HRCP.
The Federal Laws of Pakistan are published by the Government in a document called the Gazette of Pakistan. The well-known law reporters, like the Pakistan Legal Decisions (PLD) and the Pakistan Law Journal (PLJ), also contain the statutes in their statutes sections. The major compilation of statutes, however, is the Pakistan Code. The current code is spread over twenty-one (21) volumes dating from the year 1836 C.E. Volume twenty-one, the last published volume, contains the laws passed up to the year 1988. Code volumes for the years after 1988 are yet to be published and made publicly available. The Ministry of Justice, Law and Parliamentary affairs does publish individual Acts when they are amended, but this is done through the Official Gazette. This means that the published Code may not contain the updated law, and hence one must wait for the new edition of the Code in order to find the updated version. The latest versions of the laws are available from the government documents (Official Gazette) outlets and bookstores. The Acts sold by the bookstores are usually, but not always, the exact copies of the laws published officially. Thus, in many cases, the Acts available from the market do not contain the official notes added by the Ministry.
Judgments of the superior courts are reported in journals published by:
35-Nabha Road, Lahore
The largest supplier of law books in Pakistan is:
Pakistan Law House
Pakistan Chowk, GPO No. 90
The Sindh Balochistan Law Reports are published by:
8/29 Arkay Square
The Pakistan Law Journal is published by:
9 Fane Road
A good publisher for company and tax law books is:
22-Link McLeod Road
The following websites may be of help to a legal researcher:
This is the official portal web site for the Government of Pakistan and acts as a services gateway for citizens, non-citizens and businesses dealing with the Government. Information about the Government's ministries, divisions and departments, official publications like the Gazette of Pakistan, downloadable and printable forms for the citizens, and a government directory are some of the features of this site. It also features news updates, tender notices and job vacancies. Categories of its information and services gateways include agriculture, business, citizenship and immigration, culture, district governments education, employment, environment, health, housing and real estate information and media, law, overseas Pakistanis, public utilities, regulations, religious affairs, safety and security, science and technology, sports, tourism and travel, weather and women.
Women in Technology (WIT) seeks to promote the use of technology as a means for uplifting Pakistani women's social and financial status, by facilitating women's growth as a skilled workforce and mobilizing them as a resource in Pakistan's development. Information about its aims and objectives, ongoing and future projects, career opportunities, education and training programs are available online. News updates about WIT's activities, discussion forums, opinion polls, and a members' area are some of the features of this site.
From "Kolachi" to "Karachi," the history of one of Pakistan's most vibrant and dynamic cities is traced on the official website of the city's district government. Its budgets and projects, the administration's organizational setup and contact information, and birth and death registration forms are all available online. Union council information about its 18 towns, together with maps, and the city's complete phone directory of useful numbers, such as hospitals and emergency services, are some of the features of this information-rich site.
The Election Commission of Pakistan is an independent and autonomous constitutional body charged with the function of conducting transparent, free, fair and impartial elections to the National and Provincial Assemblies. This website provides details about its organizational policies and setup, including the electoral system and rolls, demarcation and delimitation of constituencies, criteria for voter eligibility, reports, news and events. A set of frequently asked questions and a detailed telephone directory are also available on this information-rich site.
This informative website outlines the Interior Ministry's responsibilities, organizational structure, details about its various field organizations and their tasks. Useful information is available for those interested in applying for a passport, ID card, visa or citizenship in Pakistan, together with relevant downloadable forms. A list of public and optional holidays and conditions under which Pakistan's flag can be flown are some of the interesting features of this site. The ministry's policies regarding various issues within its jurisdiction and contact information are also available online.
Located in all the districts in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the objective of the EIROP project is to strengthen public participation in the area of good governance through its capacity-building activities. The aim is to work towards a system which is gender sensitive, transparent and accountable to the beneficiaries. This website provides information about its areas of interventions, progress in the fields of research and training, publications, work plans and progress reports of the project.
A special Task Force on Human Development comprising experts from Pakistan as well as the international community has been set up by the Government of Pakistan to develop and help implement an integrated plan of action for universal primary education and adult literacy, primary health care, and micro-enterprise at the grassroots level in Pakistan. This website provides its conceptual paper in downloadable format, in addition to the project's role, background and contact information.
The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the highest court in the judicial hierarchy of the country. This website features a brief history, biographies of the honorable judges and a list of officers. Downloadable reports of various judgments and petitions are also available online.
This website comes under the aegis of the Bureau of Statistics, Planning, Environment & Development Department, in the Government of NWFP. It contains the eighth issue of important agency-wide socio-economic indicators of FATA for the year 1998-99, a regular publication containing interesting and important statistics related to agencies and frontier regions. The purpose is to help planners, economists and administrators in planning, monitoring and evaluating progress in the region. Statistical abstracts are available on area and population, agriculture, crop production, education, health, transportation and communication. This site is a large repository of information regarding FATA's housing, labor force, electricity, local bodies, public health engineering and annual development programs.
The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) was set up in September 2000 to examine and review policy, laws, and programs of the Government of Pakistan for women’s development and gender equality. This information-rich website provides details about the vision statement, background and history, and functions of the commission, as well as the full text of the NCSW ordinance and individual member information. Interesting features include the recommendations made for women's rights in the light of the Constitution. This includes political participation, citizenship, family laws, labor and service laws, criminal laws, Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984, violence against women, developmental rights and institutionalization. Links to gender-related issues and relevant contact information are also available online.
This website of the Bureau of Statistics contains the district-wide statistical analysis of NWFP, searchable by its 24 districts. Categories include education, electricity, employment, health, industries, irrigated and forest areas, land utilization, yield per hectare, population, roads, post offices, rural drinking water and telephones. Online publications include the development statistics and district-wide socio-economic indicators of NWFP and FATA. A map of NWFP, the organizational setup of the Bureau of Statistics, its publications, contact information and related links are also available on this well-designed site.
This website depicts various aspects of life in Punjab. Its rich history, flourishing economy, centuries-old cultural heritage, the psyche of the people, colorful fairs and festivals, delightful arts and crafts, ancient folklore and soul-stirring music are all detailed on this site. The complete text of the 1974 Rules framed under Article 139 of the Constitution for the conduct of business of the provincial government is also available online. Information on the government's main, attached departments and autonomous bodies are also accessible here. The "SAAF" model of government and other departmental documents can also be downloaded, in addition to links to various Pakistani institutional websites.
This website contains information on the Province of Balochistan.
This website contains information on the Province of NWFP.
This website contains useful information and links on the Province of Sindh.
This website contains the text of the UN Convention on the political rights of women (31st March 1953).
The Statistics Division is responsible for the formulation of policies and plans for statistical development and improvement of statistical services in the country. This website's introduction begins by outlining the Statistics Division's functions. It provides statistics on the macro-economic framework and other important social indicators in Pakistan. The General Statistics Act of 1975 is extensively described here, along with the necessary contact information. Three attached departments of the Statistics Division, the Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS), the Population Census Organization (PCO), and the Agricultural Census Organization (ACO), also provide interesting statistics, reports and publications for students and researchers on this website.
The Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis performs functions broadly related to policy formulation regarding labour administration, manpower planning, and employment promotion. The site begins with a brief introduction of its objectives and organizational structure. "The Future," the news magazine on child labour, is also available here. There are links to government sites, attached departments, autonomous bodies, and subordinate offices. A news section, relevant contact information, and an online feedback form are also provided on this site.
This information rich website goes back to Gwadar's ancient history in its introduction. It gives details of the hierarchical administrative setup, topography, and productive sources of the economy. Extensive information about Gwadar's customs and beliefs, climate and environment, industries, social infrastructure, health, telecommunications, education, population, financial institutions, and NGOs' involvement make for interesting reading.
The Overseas Pakistanis Foundation was established in March 1979. The Foundation works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis. The mandate of OPF covers its registered members overseas and their families in Pakistan, Azad Jammu & Kashmir. Their objectives have been clearly outlined, and great attention has been paid to detail in this website, especially its seven divisions. A membership form, a list of head and branch offices, and necessary contact information is also available online. An excellent link to health tips for people touring Pakistan is also present for the most common ailments.
The McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) is a privately funded research institute, "dedicated to the betterment of mankind through the promotion of sound economic policies." Their site contains a description of recommended policies together with student evaluations of a number of individual countries' economic policies. The linked section of the site presents an analysis of the Pakistan government's economic policies compared to a list of 33 economic policies as prepared by MIEPA.
Agenda 21, agreed to at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, calls on all countries to introduce National Strategies for Sustainable Development (NSSD). OECD's Development Action Committee (DAC) runs a project that involves a review of experience with NSSDs and other strategies for environmental protection and development in a number of developing countries on the basis of consultations with a range of stakeholders. This site has been prepared as a web based planning tool to assist in this process, providing necessary background and reference material in support of these dialogues. Pakistan figures prominently on the site which provides the latest information on its National Conservation Strategy (NCS), especially the details of NCS Mid Term Review. Links to other relevant sites are also given.
Governance deals with the process of governing, but it is not simply about government. It is the way in which political, legal, administrative, cultural and economic institutions interact with the interests and demands of citizens to frame the society in which we live. The issues of governance in Pakistan are varied and represent a large agenda for those seeking to promote reform. Specific ways in which the British Council has worked in these areas include Legal and Judicial Affairs, the Status of Women, Management and Administrative Reform, and the Information Agenda.
This site gives an overview of the northern areas of Pakistan and its people. Besides the history of the region, it provides a brief profile of northern areas regarding population, transportation, irrigation, health, education, forestry and agriculture. It also contains a map of the northern areas.
The beginning of this website enables the reader to learn about the different forms of government in the Asia/Near East regions; it then goes on to describe the implementation of USAID democracy assistance programs. The Freedom House Ratings, 1997, is also available here. USAID uses the Freedom House index of political rights and civil liberties to provide an assessment of whether a country is free, partly free, or not free. Some statistical findings of such assistance programs are available too, which enhances the understanding of the reader about the democracy and governance of ANE regions (Pakistan is one of the regions).
This website contains a detailed case study regarding the issue of governance in the local sphere, as the issues of governance have acquired fundamental importance in Pakistan due to large-scale institutional breakdown in the public sector. These observed facts are reflected not only in macroeconomic management, but also in micro-level delivery mechanisms of services.
The site contains substantial information in the context of Constitution. The amendments proposed or applied, orders effecting the constitution, and other insights concerning this topic are included on the website. The site is updated with recent information regarding the role of Constitution.
UNDP is part of the United Nations and upholds the vision of the United Nations Charter. It is committed to the principle that development is inseparable from the quest for peace and human security, and that the United Nations must be a strong force for development as well as peace. UNDP's mission is to help countries in their efforts to achieve sustainable human development, by assisting them in building their capacity to design and carry out protections for women and the environment, and giving first priority to poverty eradication. UNDP Pakistan addresses the issue of poverty eradication and SHD through three program areas: (a) governance; (b) gender; and (c) sustainable livelihoods. UNDP Pakistan Overview gives a quick overview of the Programme. The interested user can check out each Thematic Programme Area. A Consolidated Project Listing is also available. The site has links to the Sub Regional Resource Facility, Regional Governance Programme, Country Cooperation Framework 1998-2003, and Human Development Center. Moreover, a Media and Advocacy Page is also maintained on this site. Besides these, Performance Indicators have been identified. The UNDP main site can also be accessed from this website.
This page contains Pakistan's legislative history, ordinances, amendments, other documents including enforcement of the Shar'iah Act (Act X of 1991).
The website of Lahore High Court gives information about the history of the Lahore High Court. It provides links to the constitution, jurisdiction, cause list, judges, roster, history, IT at LHC, administration, rules and orders, announcements, and other links.
The website of the High Court of Sindh gives information about the history of the Sindh High Court. It provides links to the constitution, jurisdiction, cause list, judges, roster, history, IT at SHC, administration, rules and orders, announcements, other links.
The role of the National Reconstruction Bureau is to formulate policy and strategy options for National Construction in order to implement good governance in all the institutions of the state. Along with the NRB information, this site contains Country Information, Archives, Reference, a ‘What’s New’ section, and other links.
The main functions of the Commission include suggesting reforms in laws and statutes, including their modernization, unification and codification, removal of anomalies and inconsistencies in laws, repeal of obsolete provisions in statutes, adopting effective procedures for administration of laws to ensure inexpensive and speedy justice, simplifying laws for easy comprehension and suggesting steps to make the society law-conscious, developing and augmenting human resources for efficient court administration and case management, coordinating the judiciary and the executive, preparing schemes for access to justice, legal aid and protection of human rights, administering and managing the access to the justice development fund, introducing reforms in the administration of justice and recommending measures for improvement in the standards and quality of legal education. The site also has information on the laws of Pakistan and the judiciary.
In order to eradicate corrupt practices and ensure a free, transparent government with across -the-board accountability, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was established through a Presidential Ordinance on 16 November 1999. NAB will take effective measures for detection, investigation, prosecution, and speedy disposal of cases involving corruption, corrupt practices, misuse or abuse of power, misappropriation of property and kickbacks etc, and for matters connected and ancillary or incidental thereto.
NAB is a statutory body enjoying total operational independence. The Chairman is appointed for fixed tenure by the President in consultation with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
This site has information on the cases of corruption that have been instituted by NAB and information on wanted individuals. It also contains the text of the accountability laws in Pakistan.
The Institute was established in 1997 to promote research in Islamic law and in the laws prevailing in Muslim countries, particularly in Pakistan. The website contains sections on Islamic law, Islamic Banking and Pakistani law (arranged by topic). Significant sections of the website are currently under construction, but once fully operative it promises to be a useful resource.
This is a Pakistani legal website containing a searchable database of statutes and case law. This site also includes a directory of lawyers, links to court case lists, and free online legal advice, among other useful features.
This Site has opened the door for actual comprehensive laws and legal services on the internet. In addition, it provides information on legal consultancy, lawyer-online, legal forums, etc. Some of the services provided through this website require a subscription. Users needed to purchase an account or a Scratch card to access the restricted files of this legal data-base.
The site claims to be Pakistan's largest and most up-to-date site containing business publications, statistical data, annual reports, government laws, and regulations related to business law, insurance, prescription drugs, debt, sales tax, customs tariffs, and corporate and banking governance.
This site has information on labour laws of Pakistan.
The Council of Islamic Ideology is a constitutional body that advises the legislature regarding whether a law is repugnant to Islam, namely to the Qur'an and Sunna. This website is designed to provide information about the activities of the Council in this regard. It is updated every week.
The website aims to provide interested visitors useful data about Islam, Islamic law and research in this field in Pakistan, and contains links to:
Databases on the website include:
The Pakistan Water Gateway is intended to enhance access to information regarding water resources and issues in Pakistan. It is a pioneering web-based knowledge product, archiving information on a range of such issues pertaining to Pakistan.
The Pakistan Water Gateway is a reference repository for an evolving body of knowledge. It hopes to link national stakeholders - government, civil society, media, experts, donors and the general public - with their global counterparts, creating a web of information and allowing for sharing of knowledge among these stakeholders.
The gateway addresses water as a resource in its many dimensions, serves to assess and disseminate shared experiences, publicize policies and guidelines, and facilitate cooperation on water issues.
It provides links to the current national and international programs and resources on water, and serves as an interactive point for sharing and browsing web-sites of water-related organizations, government bodies and NGOs. The site also contains papers on critical issues and the learning of experts and institutions working on water-related themes, as well as the experience of other communities regarding water issues.
This website contains laws of SAARC countries, including Pakistan.
This website contains national laws on labour, social security, and related human rights. Information relevant to Pakistan may be found by locating Pakistan in the countries section.
This is the website of the largest human rights organization based in the United States. The section on Pakistan contains links to Pakistan-related human rights' reports and information.
The State Bank of Pakistan is the central bank of Pakistan. It manages monetary operations, and has control over foreign exchange, commercial banks, and financial institutions. The Site contains banking laws, notifications and circulars of the State Bank and general financial information.
The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is the regulator of the corporate sector and the non-banking financial institutions. It regulates the stock exchanges, public issue of securities, and other intermediaries in the securities market. The site contains useful information on the corporate laws of Pakistan.
The site displays important and basic information about the courts, their administration, various court services and programs, courts statistics, relevant law material, recent announcements, and various other types of general information. Most importantly, District and Sessions Judges have started receiving online complaints, relevant to the courts, through this website. Soon, it will also provide online a cause list and case management software link.
This site contains various links to other websites, where information on Pakistan, its Constitution, Economy, and laws can be obtained.
This is a comprehensive site containing the laws of Pakistan and judgments of the superior courts of Pakistan.
This website contains information on the laws relating to investment in Pakistan.
This website contains information and laws pertaining to Customs, Income Tax and Sales tax.
This website contains information and laws on privatization.
This website contains information and laws relating to telecommunications.
This website contains the policies governing investment in the Power sector in Pakistan.
This website is the result of the trust given by the honorable chief justices of the High Courts of Sindh and NWFP, who allowed AAliZeHH Enterprises to report judgments of these Courts. Reports of the judgments of these courts are in the form of electronic law journals under the name of AAliZeHH e-Law. AAliZeHH's goal behind this electronic publication is to support its corporate philosophy of saving the environment and providing better research facilities to lawyers, advocates, attorneys, and other professional who need to remain current with the latest verdicts of the superior courts.
This website is a one-stop resource for Statutes, Rules and Cases relating to Pakistan. This site is one of a kind, and houses all the federal and provincial statutes and cases related to these statutes. Taxation, Service, Copyright, State planning, Labour and all varieties of Fiscal statutes are covered in this site. Moreover, there are more than 1200 Essays and other legal documents available here. It also houses all the Journals of PLD Publishers that are PLD, SCMR, CLC, PCrLJ, PTD, PLC, CLD, YLR.
Federal Ministries, Division & Departments