The conflict between Pakistan’s executive orders and judicial authorities dates back to the era of Liaquat Ali Khan when the country was in its teething years. Throughout the course of Pakistan’s history the judiciary has played an integral role in the development of country, however, the public opinion remains that the judiciary of Pakistan is more inclined towards the military command and has favoured it often.
The time line provides a perspective of the political events that shaped the history of Pakistan and gave rise to various conflicting moments.
October 1954: The constituent assembly made some amendments in the constitution which resulted in revocation of Malik Ghulam Muhammad’s power as a governor general – rights which had previously empowered him to dismiss Khawaja Nazimuddin’s government.
1955: Following the decision made by the constituent assembly Ghulam Muhammad dissolved it, a move which was contested by Maulvi Tamiz-ud-din, the president of constituent assembly, in Sindh High Court.
Sindh Court’s verdict was in Maulvi Tamiz-ud-din’s favour however Supreme Court of Pakistan reversed the decision. This verdict was announced by Justice Munir.
August 1955: Iskander Mirza took charge as the fourth governor general of Pakistan and dismissed Muhammad Ali Bogra. For further details click here
The coup and martial law were unconstitutional moves, however were permitted by Justice Munir. His actions played an active role in establishing the famous ‘doctrine of necessity’ – a term which signifies extra-legal actions undertaken by the significant state actors in order to restore law and order in the country.
April 1973: Bhutto formulated 1973’s constitution which was drafted unanimously by the ruling and opposing parties of the country. For further details click here
August 1973: According to the constitution of 1973, the power of decision making was at prime minister’s discretion and president only served as the figure head. Following this article, Bhutto was sworn in as the prime minister of Pakistan, on August 14, 1973.
January 1977: A strong formation of all the opposing political parties, under the umbrella of Pakistan National Alliance (PNA), led Bhutto to call for early elections. For further details click here
March 1977: Elections were held in March and PPP won by a heavy majority, however PNA refused to accept the results and accused PPP of rigging the elections.
The political situation resulted in a strong movement against Bhutto where masses poured out onto the streets and many political leaders were arrested for their rebellion. For further details click here
November 1977: Nusrat Bhutto filed a petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the martial law imposed by Zia-ul-Haq, however the court validated the imposition under the ‘Doctrine of necessity’. For further details click here