Prime Minister of Pakistan
|Prime Minister of the
Islamic Republic of Pakistan
Standard of the Prime Minister of Pakistan
(Diplomatic, outside of Pakistan)
Mr. Prime Minister
Hon'ble Prime Minister
|Residence||Prime Minister's Secretariat|
|Appointer||By Convention held by National Assembly, based on appointee's ability to command confidence in the National Assembly of Pakistan|
|Term length||Five years. No term limits are imposed on the office|
|Inaugural holder||Liaquat Ali Khan|
|Formation||14 August 1947|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
The Prime Minister of Pakistan (Urdu: وَزِیرِ اَعظَم — Wazīr-ē Aʿẓam, Urdu pronunciation: [ʋəˈziːr-ˌeː ˈɑː.zəm]; lit. "Grand Vizier"), is the head of government of Pakistan and designated as the "chief executive of the Republic." The Prime minister leads the executive branch of the government, oversees the economical growth, heads the Council of Common Interests as well as the Cabinet, and is vested with the command authority over the nuclear arsenals.
This position places its holder in leadership of the nation who has control over all matters of internal and foreign policy. The incumbent Prime Minister is Nawaz Sharif– a presiding figure of the conservative Pakistan Muslim League (N). Usually, a leader of the majority party in the parliament, the Prime Minister is directly elected through a popular vote and landslide victory by the people and is a senior member of the National Assembly. The Constitution of Pakistan vests the executive powers to the Prime minister and is responsible for appointing the Cabinet as well as running the executive branch, taking and authorising executive decisions, appointments and recommendations that require executive confirmation of the Prime Minister.
Constitutionally, the Prime Minister serves as the chief adviser to President of Pakistan on critical matters and plays an influential role in appointment in each branch and the military leadership as well as ensuring the control of the military through chairman joint chiefs. Powers of the Prime minister has significantly grown with a delicate system of the check and balance by each branch. The position was in absent during years of 1960–73 and 1977-85 due to imposed martial law. In each of these periods, the military junta led by President had the powers of the prime minister.
The Constitution envisages a scheme of affairs in which the President of Pakistan is the head of state who represents the "unity of the Republic." The system of government in Pakistan is based on codified constitution which sees the Prime Minister as "chief executive of the Republic."
Subject to the Constitution, the executive authority of the Federation shall be exercised in the name of the President by the Federal Government, consisting of the Prime Minister and the Federal Ministers, which shall act through the Prime Minister, who shall be the chief executive of the Federation."
In addition, the Prime Minister is also the chairman of the Council of Common Interests as set by:
(1) There shall be a Council of Common Interests, in this Chapter referred to as the Council, to be appointed by the President
(2) The Council shall consist of-(c) three members from the Federal Government to be nominated by the Prime Minister from time to time.
(a) the Prime Minister who shall be the Chairman of the Council;
(b) the Chief Ministers of the Provinces;
As in most of the parliamentary democracies, a head of state's duties are mostly ceremonial. The Prime Minister of Pakistan is the head of government and has the responsibility for executive power. With Pakistan following a parliamentary system of government, the Prime minister is generally the leader of a party (or coalition of parties) that has a majority in the National Assembly —the lower house of the Parliament of Pakistan. The Prime minister, in common with all other ministers, either has to be a current member of National Assembly, or be elected within six months of being appointed.
Role and powers of the Prime minister
The official residence and principal workplace of the Prime Minister is the Prime Minister's Secretariat— the cabinet secretariat located in the northeast Islamabad. The Prime Minister is the Chief Executive who heads and exercise authority of the Government of Pakistan. After gaining the vote of confidence, the Prime Minister is invited by the President to take oath and form the government. In practice, the Prime Minister nominates to form the Cabinet as in-charge of the important functions and ministries of the Government of Pakistan. In addition, the Prime Minister thoroughly communicates with the President all decisions of the Cabinet relating to the administration of the affairs of the state and proposals for legislation.
The Prime Minister, in consultation with the Cabinet, schedules and attends the sessions of the Parliament and is required to answer the question from the Members of Parliament to them as the in-charge of the portfolios in the capacity as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Some specific ministries/department are not allocated to anyone in the cabinet but the prime minister himself. The prime minister is usually always in-charge/Chairman of:
The Prime minister is vested with the command authority over the nuclear arsenals and represents the country in various delegations, high level meetings and international organisations that require the attendance of the highest government office and also addresses to the nation on various issues of national or other importance.
- A citizen of Pakistan.
- Required to be a Muslim
- be a member of the National Assembly.
- be above 25 years of age if he or she is a member National Assembly or above 30 years of age if he is a member of the Senate.
- Able to provide a good conduct of character and is not commonly known as one who violates Islamic Injunctions
- Adequate knowledge of Islamic teachings and practices obligatory duties prescribed by Islam as well as abstains from major sins/
- Has not, after the establishment of Pakistan, worked against the integrity of the country or opposed the ideology of Pakistan.
Selection and removal
The candidates for the prime ministerialship are elected through directly elected through popular vote and landslide victory that are campaigned on the party platforms. Usually, the leader of the majority party in the parliament retains the office of prime minister who forms the government either by coalition or by simple majority. The candidate must retain the vote of confidence be the members of the parliament before being invited by the President to form the government.
The Prime Minister can be removed before the expiry of the term through the vote of no confidence in the parliament. If the vote of no confidence is passed by the National Assembly by not less than 20%; the Prime Minister is ceased to retained the office. In the past events, the Prime ministers (and their governments) have been dismissed by President by exercising the VIII Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan (1985) but it has been repealed by XVIII Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan (2010). In addition, the Prime Minister himself has absolute constitutional immunity from criminal and civil proceedings, and no proceedings can be initiated or continued against him during the term of his office.
In 2012, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has ceased at least one Prime Minister from retaining the office due to contempt of court after retroactively disqualifying the membership of the parliament permanently.
Oath of office
The prime minister is elected directly for a term of five years. The incumbent Prime Minister is eligible for re-election to that office, but cannot hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. The Prime Minister is required to make and subscribe in the presence of the President— an oath or affirmation that the prime ministershall protect, preserve and defend the Constitution as follows:
I, ____________, do swear solemnly that l am a Muslim and believe in theUnity and Oneness of Almighty Allah, the Books of Allah, the Holy Qura'an being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad (peace be upon him) as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah:
That I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan:
That, as Prime Minister of Pakistan, I will discharge my duties, and perform my functions, hon-estly, to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well- being and prosperity of Pakistan:
That I will strive to preserve the Islamic Ideology which is the basis for the creation of Pakistan:
That I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions:
That I will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan:
That, in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favor, affection or ill- will:
And that I will not directly or indirectly communicate or reveal to any person any matter which shall be brought under my consideration or shall become known to me as Prime Minister except as may be required for the due discharge of my duties as Prime Minister.
May Allah Almighty help and guide me (A'meen).
Post Prime ministerialships
Chronological list of Prime Ministers with tenure
The office was created on immediate effect after the partition and the establishment of Pakistan in 1947; the Prime Minister existed alongside with the Governor-General who was the representative of English Monarchy. The first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, exercised central executive powers until his assassination in 1951. However, the powers slowly began to reduced as a result of constant intervention by the Governor-General. Despite the first set of the Constitution gave central power in 1956, the seven prime ministers were dismissed by the Governor-General from 1951 till 1957. In addition, the first set of the Constitution had evolved the Governor-General into the President of Pakistan whilst declaring the country as "Islamic republic".. In 1958, President Iskandar Mirza the eighth prime minister to impose martial; in mere two weeks, President Mirza was ousted by army chief General Ayub Khan.
In 1962, the second set of the Constitution completely dissolved the office of prime minister as all powers were transferred to the President of Pakistan. Criticism over presidency after the presidential election held in 1965 over the centralizing of powers. After the general elections held in 1970, the office was established with Nurul Amin becoming the Prime Minister who was also the Vice-President. Negotiations that fall apart between Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mujibur Rehman, and Yahya Khan prompted to liberation movement in the East Pakistan. With India intervening in East Pakistan and Pakistan conceding defeat to end the war led to the collapse of the presidential system in 1971. As the comprehensive Constitution reinstated, the post was reestablished with more central powers as the constitution provided a parliamentary system with President of Pakistan as figurehead. Amid agitation instigated by the right-wing alliance invited the military intervention in 1977 which suspended the post. The general elections held in 1985 allowed the post to be returned with Muhammad Junejo becoming the Prime Minister. The elections features the controversial eighth amendment to the Constitution, giving powers to President to dismiss the Prime Minister and the National Assembly without prior consultation. In 1988, Benazir Bhutto was elected as Prime Minister, becoming the first female head of government to be democratically elected in a Muslim country.
From 1990 onwards, the offices of President and Prime Minister would clash, with the President dissolving the National Assembly, and thus dismissing the Prime Minister a total of three times until 1996, with new elections each time. In 1997, Nawaz Sharif became Prime minister who would later, through Parliament, drafted and passed 13th and 14th Amendments. With these Amendments, Sharif became country's strongest Prime minister in the history of Pakistan since 1947. However, it did not last longer. After the coup of Pervez Musharraf in 1999, Musharraf assumed the role of Chief Executive, and was the sole ruler of Pakistan. In October 2002, general elections were held, with no party gaining a majority of the popular vote or National Assembly of Pakistan. A new Prime Minister was appointed after much political wrangling, Zafarullah Khan Jamali of the Pakistan Muslim League (Q), a pro-Musharraf political party.
In December 2003, the National Assembly passed the 17th Amendment, partially restoring the power of the President to dissolve the National Assembly (and thus dismiss the Prime Minister), but making the dissolution subject to Supreme Court of Pakistan's approval.
Jamali resigned on 26 June 2004. Interim prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain nominated the Finance minister, former Citibank Vice-President Shaukat Aziz, to the post. Aziz was elected Prime Minister on 28 August 2004, by a vote of 191 to 151 in the National Assembly. In 2003, Musharraf passed the 17th Amendment which gave the President more powers then the Prime minister, and shifted Pakistan's parliamentary system of semi-Presidential system. During 2006 till the parliamentary elections in 2008, Yousaf Raza Gillani became the Prime minister and through his elected lawmakers demanded Musharraf to imposed the 1973 constitution at its real position, and dissolved the 17th Amendment, which the President denied. More and more support to suspend the semi-presidential system began to take place in successive years which Musharraf continued to deny. Following the successful movement to impeach the President, Musharraf resigned and Zardari became the elected President of the country. In 2010, finally lawmakers drafted and successfully and unanimously passed the 18th Amendment, turning back the country to parliamentary democracy republic. The 18th Amendment also removed the power of the President of Pakistan to dissolve the Parliament unilaterally. This amendment sweeped the powers amassed by the Presidency under former Presidents General Pervez Musharraf and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and to ease political instability in Pakistan.
On 19 June 2012, Supreme Court of Pakistan disqualified Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani on charges of not obeying court orders and for not reopening the graft charges against President Asif Ali Zardari. The Pakistan Peoples Party is to choose a new Prime Minister in place of Gillani. 
On 20 June 2012, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) nominated Makhdoom Shahbuddin as the new PM. The decision was made in a meeting under the chairmanship of President Asif Ali Zardari. After the Anti-Narcotics Force issued non-bailable arrest warrant against Makhdoom Shahbuddin, the Pakistan People's Party nominated Raja Pervaiz Ashraf as the party's candidate for the office of the Prime Minister. Pakistan Muslim League (N) nominated the Sardar Mehtab Khan Abbassi as the opposition candidate for the Prime Minister's office.
On 15 January 2013, Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of PM Raja Pervez Ashraf and 15 others over corruption allegations, raising fears of a political crisis just months ahead of an election. Critics labelled him "Raja Rental" because of the kickbacks he is alleged to have taken – he has consistently denied these claims and left the water and power post in 2011. 
The 17th Amendment imposed a check on this power, making it subject to Supreme Court approval or veto. However, in 2010, the 185th Amendment was reversed and is replaced with more effective 18th Amendment to the Constitution, clearly turning Pakistan from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary democratic republic.
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