Causes of Failure of 1956 Constitution Of Pakistan


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Muhammad Ayub Khan abrogated the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan and enforced Martial Law in the Country in 1958. Following are some important causes of the failure of the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.

One Unit
Electorate issue
Lack of Proper Election
Misuse of Power
Undue Interference by Head of State
Greed for Power
Role of Army and Bureaucracy
Lack of Education
Economic Crisis in the Country

1. One Unit:

In Pakistan, one unit was established for the convenience of governance. All the Provinces of West Pakistan were joined together and made into one unit.

It was thought that it would eliminate the prejudices among Pakistanis but it proved to be a failure and it also led to the failure of the 1956 constitution.

There were demonstrations in various parts of the country demanding one unit abolition. At last, the government had to surrender before the demand, and the one unit was abolished in 1957.

2. Electorate Issue:

Another cause for the failure of the 1956 Constitution was the Electoral issue. There was a deadlock on the determination of the electoral system in the country.

Awami League, the Republican party, NAP favored a joint electorate system while on the other hand parties like Muslim League, Nizam-e-Islam party demanded a separate electorate system.

There was also a demand that in East Pakistan there should be a joint electorate system and in West Pakistan, there should be a separate electorate system.

This electorate issue played havoc with the political system in the country and as a result, the 1956 constitution was abrogated and the Martial law was enforced in the country.

3. Unicameralism:

The 1956 constitution introduced a unicameral legislature. In other words, there was only one house which was the Upper house.

For the success of the Federation, it is necessary that there should be two houses in the Parliament but the framers of the 1956 constitution envisaged unicameralism for the country for which there was no example in developed countries.

This unicameralism also created a lot of problems for Pakistan and the result was quite obvious. Martial law was imposed in the country

4. Lack of Proper Election:

People were demanding general elections which were promised by the president. But the ruler of the state never fulfilled their promises which irritated people who started to demand immediate elections. This non-fulfillment of promises also led to the failure of the 1956 constitution.

5. Misuse of Power:

The President who was given wide powers under the 1956 constitution misused those powers which were given to him by the constitution. President behaved like a kingmaker. This misuse of powers was one of the causes of the failure of the 1956 constitution.

6. Undue Interference by Head of State:

The head of state interfered unduly in the affairs of the country. Swift political changes in the country led to the demand for a new constitution.

The head of the state played a very negative role. He adopted different Strategies for the dismissal of the ministers from their offices. This undue interference on the part of the head of the state created a situation in which a new constitution had to be introduced.

7. Greed for Power:

Governor-general Ghulam Muhammad and Prime Minister Nizamuddin were trying to have an upper hand over the other and they were trying to curtail the power of the other. This greed for power led the people to distrust their rulers and that was a very strong cause for the failure of the 1956 constitution.

8. Role of Army and Bureaucracy:

A country can not become a developed country unless and until it completes its Democratic process. Unfortunately, there is only one people’s government which completed its five years.

The Other governments could not complete their period because of either leg-pulling by the politicians or the intervention of the army which played Havoc with the democratic process. Bureaucracy played an important role in the failure of the 1956 constitution

9. Lack of Education:

A country can become developed only when its people are well educated and it has a high literacy rate. Unfortunately, the people were not well educated and the people were easily influenced by the demagogues. This lack of education also led to the failure of the 1956 constitution.

10. Economic Crisis in the Country:

The economic crisis in the country damaged the image of Pakistan in the world. People were fed up with this economic crisis in the country.


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