Understanding the Functioning of Pakistan’s Government System: A Dive into its Laws


The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a diverse and vibrant nation with a unique system of government that has evolved since its inception in 1947. Pakistan’s government system is primarily based on democratic principles, Islamic law, and a complex legal framework. In this blog, we will delve into how the government system of Pakistan works, with a particular focus on the role of laws in shaping the country’s governance.

1. Structure of Government:

Pakistan follows a federal parliamentary system of government. At its core, the system is comprised of three key branches:

a. Executive: The executive branch is headed by the President, who is the ceremonial head of state, and the Prime Minister, who is the head of government. The President’s powers are largely symbolic, while the Prime Minister holds the real executive authority.

b. Legislature: Pakistan’s legislative body, the Parliament, consists of two houses: the National Assembly (Lower House) and the Senate (Upper House). The National Assembly consists of directly elected members, while the Senate is composed of representatives from the provinces.

c. Judiciary: Pakistan’s judiciary, including the Supreme Court, serves as the guardian of the Constitution and interprets the law. It ensures the separation of powers and upholds the rule of law.

2. The Role of the Constitution:

The Constitution of Pakistan, adopted in 1973, is the supreme law of the land. It defines the country’s political structure, fundamental rights, and principles of governance. The Constitution guarantees religious freedom and the protection of minority rights, reflecting Pakistan’s Islamic identity while also ensuring democratic values.

3. Legal System and Laws:

Pakistan’s legal system is primarily based on English common law, inherited from the British colonial era, and Islamic law, known as Sharia. The legal framework is vast and covers various aspects of life, including civil, criminal, and administrative matters.

a. Criminal Law: Pakistan has a comprehensive criminal justice system that deals with crimes and offenses. The Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) outlines criminal offenses and their penalties, while the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) governs criminal procedures.

b. Civil Law: The civil legal system in Pakistan covers various aspects, including family law, property law, contract law, and more. These laws are codified in various statutes, such as the Family Laws Ordinance, 1961, and the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

c. Islamic Law: Pakistan’s legal system incorporates elements of Islamic law, especially in matters related to family and personal law. Sharia courts, known as Qazi courts, have jurisdiction over these matters and apply Islamic principles.

d. Administrative Law: Administrative law governs the actions and decisions of government agencies and officials. The judiciary plays a vital role in ensuring the adherence of administrative bodies to the law.

4. Role of the Judiciary:

The judiciary in Pakistan plays a crucial role in interpreting and upholding the law. The Supreme Court of Pakistan, with its Chief Justice, is the apex judicial authority. It ensures that government actions and laws comply with the Constitution. Judicial activism in Pakistan has, at times, played a significant role in shaping public policy and governance.

5. Challenges and Reforms:

Pakistan’s legal system faces several challenges, including issues related to access to justice, corruption, and the backlog of cases. Over the years, efforts have been made to reform and modernize the legal system to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Reforms in the judiciary, legal education, and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms have been initiated to address these challenges.


The government system of Pakistan is intricately tied to its legal framework, which combines democratic principles with Islamic law. The Constitution serves as the cornerstone of the nation’s governance, while a vast array of laws and regulations shape various aspects of life in Pakistan. The judiciary plays a pivotal role in ensuring the rule of law and upholding the Constitution, while ongoing reforms aim to improve the legal system and promote justice and transparency in the country. Understanding Pakistan’s government system and its legal underpinnings is essential to appreciate the complexities and challenges facing this diverse and dynamic nation.

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