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A Legal Research Guide to Pakistan

 

by Omar Sial and Sahar Iqbal

 

Omar Sial is a partner in the law firm of Hasan & Sial, Advocates and Corporate Counselors. Sahar Iqbal is a student of law at the Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology.

 

Published November 2005
Read the Update!

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Location

Constitutional Development

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

Government

Process of Law Making

Administration of Law and Justice

The Court System

Legal Research

 

Introduction

Pakistan emerged as an independent State on 14 August 1947. Pakistan is divided into four provinces, namely, North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan. The tribal belt adjoining NWFP is managed by the Federal Government and is named FATA i.e., Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Azad Kashmir and Northern Areas have their own respective political and administrative machinery, yet certain of their subjects 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.

 

Location

Located in South Asia, Pakistan shares an eastern border with India and north-eastern border with China. Iran makes up the country’s south-west border, and Afghanistan runs along its western and northern edge. The Arabian Sea is Pakistan’s southern boundary with 1,064 km of coastline.

 

The country has a total area of 796,095 sq km and is nearly four times the size of the United Kingdom. From Gwadar Bay in its south-eastern corner, the country extends more than 1,800 km to the Khunjerab Pass on China’s border. 

 

Constitutional Development

Since its creation 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 then represented in parliament.

 

The Constitution of Pakistan 1973 was enacted by the National Assembly on April 10, 1973. The Constitution was held in abeyance by the Proclamation of Martial Law issued by General M. Zia-ul-Haq on July 5, 1977. The Revival of the Constitution of 1973 Order, 1985 (President's Order No. 14 of 1985) and the Constitution (Eighth Amendment) Act, 1985, (XVIII of 1985) brought about major amendments to the Constitution. The Constitution was revived in 1985 through the Enforcement of 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 Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and Chief of Army Staff, on October 14, 1999. By virtue of the said Proclamation Pervez 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, the said Order provided, in Art. 2 thereof, 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, 2003 has now validated and affirmed all the amendments made in the Constitution by the Legal Framework Order, 2002.

A comprehensive article on the history of the Constitution can be found here.

 

Constitutional Status of Islamic Law

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.

 

Government

Federal Parliamentary System: 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.

 

Provinces: 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 Province. Each Province has a directly elected Provincial Assembly headed by a Chief Minister. The Provincial Governments may legislate in certain areas for example health, education, agriculture, municipal planning and roads.

 

National Assembly: Members of the National Assembly are elected by universal adult suffrage (over eighteen years of age in Pakistan). Seats are allocated to each of the four Provinces, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and Islamabad Capital Territory on the basis of population. National Assembly members serve for the parliamentary term, which is five years, unless they die or resign sooner, or unless 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.

 

Senate: The Senate is a permanent legislative body with equal representation from each of the four Provinces, elected by the members of their respective Provincial Assemblies. There are representatives from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and from 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.

 

Prime Minister and Cabinet: The majority of members in the National Assembly nominate a member as Prime Minister from amongst themselves. That individual is then appointed as Prime Minister by the President from among the members of the National Assembly. 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.

 

President of Pakistan: The President of Pakistan is Pakistan's Head of State. It is the majority party in the National Assembly which usually is 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.)

 

Process of Law Making

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. 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 in respect of matters falling within provincial legislative authority.

 

Administration of Law and Justice

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.

 

Legislative Drafting: Drafting of Ordinances and Bills is a major function and responsibility of the Law and Justice Division which is looked after by the Drafting Wing.

 

Litigation: The other major function and responsibility of the Division is to look after the litigation on behalf of the Government of Pakistan.

 

Administration of the Federal Courts/ Tribunals: 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 for which purpose there is a committee comprising the Attorney General, Law and Justice Minister and the Law and Justice Secretary.

 

Judicial Academy: 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.

 

The Court System

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 have been established under the Constitution and other Courts have been established by or under the Acts of Parliament or Acts of Provincial Assemblies.

 

Supreme Court of Pakistan

Structure: The Supreme Court is at the apex of the judicial systems of Pakistan. It consists of a Chief Justice known as Chief Justice of Pakistan and such number of other judges as may be determined by the Act 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.

 

Jurisdiction: The Supreme Court has original, appellate and advisory jurisdiction.

 

Original 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 or a provincial government or between any two or more provincial governments. The Supreme Court, if it considers that a question of public importance, with reference to the enforcement of any of the Fundamental Rights ensured by the Constitution of Pakistan is involved, it has the power to make any appropriate order for the enforcement of fundamental rights.

 

Appellate Jurisdiction: 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 hears an appeal with its prior permission.

 

Advisory Jurisdiction: It, 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 on the question to the President.

 

Seat of the Supreme Court: The permanent seat of the Supreme Court is at Islamabad, but it also runs circuits at Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Quetta.

 

Transfer of Cases: The Supreme Court may, if it considers 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.

 

General: The practice and procedure of the Court is regulated by the 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 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 it or any order made by it.

 

High Courts of Pakistan

There is a High Court in each of the four provinces of Pakistan. The Islamabad Capital Territory falls within the jurisdiction of the Lahore High Court of the Punjab. 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.

 

Jurisdiction: A High Court has original and appellate jurisdiction.

 

Original 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 he is not permitted by law or to do anything he is required 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 it, so that the court may satisfy itself that he is not being held unlawfully;

(iv)     giving such directions to any person or authority, for the enforcement of any of the fundamental rights conferred by the Constitution. Besides the original jurisdiction conferred by the Constitution, a High Court has original jurisdiction in many other matters conferred by or under various laws.

 

Appellate Jurisdiction: A High Court has extensive appellate jurisdiction against the judgments, decisions, decrees and sentences passed by the civil and criminal courts.

 

General: A High Court has the power to make rules regulating its practice and procedure and of courts subordinate to it. Each High Court supervises and controls all courts subordinate to it and any decision of a High Court binds all courts subordinate to it.

 

Shariat Court

Federal Shariat Court comprises eight Muslim Judges including the Chief Justice to be appointed by the President. Of the Judges, four are the persons qualified to be the Judges of the High Courts, while three are Ulema (scholars well-versed in Islamic Law).

 

Jurisdiction: Federal Shariat Court has original and appellate jurisdiction.

 

Original Jurisdiction: The Court may examine and decide the question 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 day.

 

Appellate Jurisdiction: 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 to intoxication, theft, Zina (unlawful sexual intercourse) and Qazf (false imputation of Zina).

 

Civil Courts

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 District Judge and all matters of civil nature originate in the courts of Judges. The District Judge may, however, withdraw any case from any Civil Judge and try it himself. Appeals against the judgments and decrees passed by the Civil Judges in cases where the value of the suit does not exceed the specified amount lie to the District Judge.

 

Criminal Courts

In every district, there is a Court of Sessions Judge and Courts of Magistrates.

 

Criminal cases punishable with 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 authorised by law. Offences not punishable with 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 lies to the High Court and against the sentence passed by a Magistrate to the Sessions Judge if the term of sentence is up to four years, otherwise to the High Court.

 

Special Courts and Tribunals

To deal with specific types of cases, Special Courts and Tribunals are constituted. 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 Anti-Corruption, Commercial Courts, Drug Courts, Labour Courts, Insurance Appellate Tribunal, Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, Accountability Courts, Anti-Terrorism Courts and Services Tribunals. Appeals from the Special Courts lie to the High Courts, except in case of Labour Courts and Special Traffic Courts, which have separate forums of appeal.

 

The Ombudsman (Wafaqi Mohtasib)

 

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 Ottomon Caliphate. On regaining his throne, the King established a similar institution in Sweden. Gradually, other developed western countries also adopted this institution.

 

Establishment in Pakistan: In Pakistan, the establishment of the institution of Ombudsman was advocated on several occasions. It was Article 276 of the Interim constitution of 1972, which 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.

 

The Institution of Ombudsman was, however, actually brought into being through the Establishment of the Office of Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman) Order, 1983. 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.

 

Jurisdiction: 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 institutionalise 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 do so, for corrupt or improper motives.

 

It also includes neglect, inattention, delay, incompetence, inefficiency, 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.

 

Powers: If the Mohtasib finds an element of bad administration in a 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 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 reference of the matter to the President of Pakistan, who, in his discretion may direct 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 on account of 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

Jirga, a Persian word, means a gathering, or a consultation. Tribes had recourse to jirga to solve their multifarious problems and hence it is now common known as the tribal justice system. These problems covered a broad spectrum of subjects from 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.

 

Legal Research

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 for 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 made up to the year 1988. Code volumes for the years after 1988 are yet to be published and made available. The Ministry of Justice, Law and Parliamentary affairs does publish individual Acts when these are updated in the light of amendments, but this is done through the Official Gazette. This means that the published Code may not contain the updated law, and for the updated version one has to wait for the new edition of the Code. 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:

 

All Pakistan Legal Decisions

35-Nabha Road, Lahore

Phone: +9242-7356228

Fax: +9242-7238113

Email: PLD@brain.net.pk

 

The largest supplier of law books in Pakistan is:

 

Pakistan Law House

Pakistan Chowk, GPO No. 90

Karachi 74200

Phone: +9221-2639558

Fax: 2627549

 

The Sindh Balochistan Law Reports are published by:

 

United Law Agency

8/29 Arkay Square

Shahrah-e-Liaquat

New Challi

Karachi

 

Phone: +9221-2431696

Fax: +9221-2423192

Email: alhouse@cyber.net.pk

 

The Pakistan Law Journal is published by:

 

Pakistan Law Journal

9 Fane Road

Lahore

Phone: +9242-7237334

Email: pakistanlawjournal@yahoo.com

Url: www.pbbarcouncil.com

 

A good publisher for company and tax law books is:

 

S.A. Salam Publications

Salam Chambers

22-Link McLeod Road

Lahore

 

Phone: +9242-7359405

Fax: +9221-7226953

Email: lhr@sasalam.com.pk

Url: www.sasalam.com.pk

 

 

The following websites may be of help to a legal researcher:

 

Pakistan Government

Pakistan.Gov 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 it. Information about the Government's ministries, divisions and departments, official publications like the Gazette of Pakistan, downloadable, 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)

Women in Technology (WIT) 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 mobilise 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 some of the features of this site.

 

Karachi City

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, 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.

 

Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)

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 upcoming website provides details about its organizational policies and setup. These include 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.

 

Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan

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.

 

NWFP Essential Institutional Reforms Operationalisation Programme (EIROP)

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.

 

Human Development Task Force

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 concept paper in downloadable format, in addition to the project's role, background and contact information.

 

The Supreme Court of Pakistan

The Supreme Court of Pakistan is the apex court in the judicial hierarchy of the country. This website features its brief history, biographies of the honourable judges and a list of officers. Downloadable reports of various judgments and petitions are also available online.

 

Important agency-wise socio-economic indicators of FATA 1999

This website comes under the aegis of the Bureau of Statistics, Planning, Environment & Development Department, Government of NWFP. It contains the eighth issue of important agency-wise 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, crops production, education, health, transport and communication. This site is a large repository of information regarding FATA's housing, labour force, electricity, local bodies, public health engineering and annual development programmes.

 

National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW), Government of Pakistan

The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) was set up in September 2000 to examine and review policy, laws and programmes of the Government of Pakistan for women development and gender equality. This information rich website provides details about the vision statement, background and history, functions, 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, labour and service laws, criminal laws, Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984, violence against women, developmental rights and institutionalization. Links to women-related issues and relevant contact information are also available online.

 

Bureau of Statistics, Government of NWFP

This website of the Bureau of Statistics contains the district-wise statistical analysis of NWFP, searchable by its 24 districts and graphical presentation. 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-wise 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.

 

The Official Website of the Government of Punjab

This website depicts various aspects of life in Punjab. Its rich history, flourishing economy, centuries-old cultural heritage, the psyche of the people, colourful fairs and festivals, delightful arts and crafts, ancient folklore and soul-stirring music are 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. 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.

 

Convention on the Political Rights of Women

This website contains the text of the UN Convention on the political rights of women (31st March 1953).

 

Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan

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 important social indicators of 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.

 

Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis

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.

 

Gwadar District

This information rich website goes back to Gwadar's ancient history in its well-written introduction. It gives details of the hierarchical administrative setup, topography, and productive sources of economy. Intensive information about Gwadar's customs and beliefs, climate and environment, industries, social infrastructure, health, telecommunications, education, population, financial institutions, and NGOs' involvement make for enlightened reading.

 

Overseas Pakistanis Foundation

Overseas Pakistanis Foundation was established in March 1979. The Foundation works under the administrative control of the Ministry of Labour, Manpower and Overseas Pakistanis Government of Pakistan. 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.

 

PAKISTAN: Economic Policy Analysis from MIEPA

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 following 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.

 

National Strategies for Sustainable Development

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 environment 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 the 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 in Pakistan: The British Council

Governance is about 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.

 

Northern Areas of Pakistan

This site gives an overview of the northern areas of Pakistan and its people. Besides the history of the region, it provides brief profile of northern areas regarding population, transportation, irrigation, health, education, forestry and agriculture. It also contains a map of the northern areas.

 

Democracy and Governance

In the beginning the netter can learn about the different forms of government in the Asia/Near East regions then the implementation of USAID democracy assistance programs has been outlined. Freedom House Ratings, 1997, is available. Actually, 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 surfer about the democracy and governance of ANE regions (Pakistan is one of the regions).

 

Governance

A detailed case study over the issue of governance in the local sphere as the issues of governance has acquired fundamental importance in Pakistan due to large-scale institutional breakdown in the public sector. These observed facts reflect not only in the macro economic management but micro level delivery mechanisms of the service unfold the same picture.

 

The Constitution of Pakistan

The site carries within substantial information in the context of Constitution. The amendments proposed or applied, orders effecting the constitution and other insights concerning topic is engraved on the website. Site is updated with recent and present situation regarding role of Constitution.

 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan

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 to build their capacity to design and carry out develop women and the protection and regeneration of the environment, giving first priority to poverty eradication. UNDP Pakistan addresses the issue of poverty eradication and SHD through three programme areas: (a) governance; (b) gender; and (c) sustainable livelihoods. This site is rich in its content. UNDP Pakistan Overview gives a quick overview of the Programme. The interested user can check out each Thematic Programme Area. For the ease of the netter 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.

 

Pakistan's Legislative History

This page contains Pakistan's legislative history, ordinances, amendments, other documents including enforcement of Shar'iah Act (Act X of 1991) etc.

 

Lahore High Court

The website of Lahore High Court gives information about the history of Lahore High Court. It provides links to the constitution, jurisdiction, cause list, judges, roster, history, IT at LHC, administration, rules and orders, announcements, other links.

 

Sindh High Court

The website of the High Court of Sindh gives information about the history of Lahore High Court. It provides links to the constitution, jurisdiction, cause list, judges, roster, history, IT at LHC, administration, rules and orders, announcements, other links.

 

National Reconstruction Bureau

The role of the National Reconstruction Bureau is to formulate policy/strategy options for National Construction for approval by the National Security Council in order to implement good governance in all the institutions of state. Along with the NRB information we can find Country Info, Archive/Reference, What’s New and www links.

 

Law Commission of Pakistan

The main functions of the Commission are: 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  judiciary and executive, preparing schemes for access to justices, legal aid and protection of human rights, administering and managing the access to justice development fund, introducing reforms in the administration of justice and recommending measures for improvement in the standard/quality of legal education. 

 

The site has information on the laws of Pakistan and the judiciary.

 

National Accountability Bureau

To eradicate corrupt practices, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) has been established through a Presidential Ordinance for a free, transparent, and across the board accountability, on 16 November 1999. NAB will take effective measures for detection, investigation, prosecution, and speedy disposal of cases involving corruption, corrupt practices, misuse/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.

 

Advanced Legal Studies Institute

The Institute was established in 1997 to promote research in Islamic law and in the laws prevailing in Muslim countries, particularly in Pakistan. Contain 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.

 

Pakistan Lawyer

Pakistani legal website containing searchable database of statutes and case law. Also includes a directory of lawyers, links to court case lists, and free online legal advice, among other useful features.

 

Vakil No. 1

Website containing laws of SAARC countries, including Pakistan

 

NATLEX

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.

 

Human Rights Watch

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.

 

British Pakistan Law Council

The British Pakistan Law Council is a newly established bilateral legal organisation founded in conjunction with The Law Society of England and Wales and interested Pakistani Practitioners.

 

The site has information on the registration of Pakistani and British lawyers, law students and other interested legal organizations. It is a forum for the exchange of legal ideas, information and technical assistance and legal 'know how', precedents and publications.

 

The State Bank of Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan is the central bank of Pakistan. It manages monetary operations control over foreign exchange and control over commercial banks and financial institutions. The Site contains banking laws, notifications and circulars of the State Bank and general financial information.

 

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan is the regulator of the corporate sector and the non-banking financial institiutions. 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.

 

District and Sessions Court (Karachi East)

The site displays important and basic information about the courts, its administration, various court services and programs, courts statistics, relevant law material, recent announcements, and various other general information materials. Most importantly, District & Sessions Judge has started receiving online complaints, relevant to the courts through this website. Soon, it will also provide online cause list and case management software link. Contains some laws.

 

Guide to Law Online

This site contains various links where information on Pakistan, its Constitution, Economy and its laws can be obtained

 

Law and Lawyers

A comprehensive site containing the laws of Pakistan and judgments of the superior courts of Pakistan.

 

Pakistan Board of Investment

Contains information on the laws relating to investment in Pakistan.

 

Central Board of Revenue

Contains information and laws pertaining to Customs, Income Tax and Sales tax.

 

Privatisation Commission of Pakistan

Contains information and laws on privatization.

 

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority

Contains information and laws relating to telecommunications.

 

Sindh Government

Contains useful information and links on the Province of Sindh.

 

Private Power and Infrastructure Abroad

Contains the policies governing investment in the Power sector in Pakistan.

 

AALIZEH

This product is the result of the trust entrusted by the honorable apex courts chief justices of Sindh and NWFP by allowing AAliZeHH Enterprises to report judgments of Sindh and NWFP High Courts, Pakistan. Reporting of the judgments by these apex courts are in the form of electronic law journal under the name of AAliZeHH e-Law. AAliZeHH's concept 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.

 

Pakistan Law Site

This is one stop resource site for Statutes, Rules and Cases relating to Pakistan. This site is one of its kind and houses all the federal and provincial statutes and cases related to these statutes. Taxation, Service, Copyright, State planning, Labour and all kinds of Fiscal statutes are covered in this site. Moreover there are more than 1200 Essays and writing 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.