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Prime Minister of Pakistan

From Academic Kids

The Prime Minister of Pakistan is the Head of Government of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister is appointed by the National Assembly. The National Assembly is voted in by popular vote, and the leader of the party with the most votes is made the Prime Minister for a four year term. The Prime Minister is responsible for appointing a cabinet. The President has the constitutional power to remove the Prime Minister, through a dissolution of the National Assembly, triggering new elections.

Not to be confused with dismissal of the Prime Minister by the President, the office of Prime Minister has been suspended at times. This has occurred during the various times that Pakistan has been under martial law, and after the coup of Pervez Musharraf. During such times, the President, who was often the martial law administrator, effectively had the powers of Prime Minister as the head of government, without the title of Prime Minister. Mr. Shaukat Aziz has been elected as the Prime Minister by the constitutional assembly.

History

The office of Prime Minister was created when Pakistan gained independence in 1947. Originally, the Prime Minister was given executive powers, which were later reduced as the power of the Governor-General grew. The office was discontinued in 1958 and revived in 1973. The power of the Prime Minister's office peaked in the late 1990s, with the removal of institutional check and balances, and the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment and Fourteenth Amendments.

The first Prime Minister of Pakistan was Liaquat Ali Khan who was appointed to the position by the first Governor-General, Muhammmad Ali Jinnah. The office of Prime Minister continued until 1958. Many Prime Ministers were removed by the Head of State. In 1958 martial law was declared by Iskander Mirza, and the office of Prime Minister essentially disappeared until 1973. In 1973 a new constitution was written giving the Prime Minister executive power once again, and making Pakistan a Parliamentary system. The architect of that constitution, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, became the Prime Minister.

However, Bhutto was overthrown in 1977, and martial law declared again, with the office of Prime Minister being suspended until 1985 when Muhammad Khan Junejo was appointed by the newly elected National Assembly. This election also brought the eighth amendment to the 1973 constitution, and gave the President powers that balanced those of the Prime Minister. The President was now able to dismiss the Prime Minister and the National Assembly (effectively calling for new elections) without prior consultation with the Prime Minister.

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. After the coup of Pervez Musharraf in 1999, Musharraf assumed the role of Chief Executive, and was the sole leader of Pakistan. In 2002, general elections were held, with no party gaining the majority. A new Prime Minister was appointed after much political wrangling, Zafarullah Khan Jamali who belongs to the PML-Q, a pro-Musharraf political party. In December 2003, the National Assembly passed the Seventeenth 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 approval.

Jamali resigned on June 26, 2004. Finance minister and former Citibank EVP Shaukat Aziz has been named to the post by interim prime minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain.

List of Prime Ministers

From October 7, 1958 until July 3, 1972, no person held the title of Prime Minister due to martial law

The office was again suspended from July 5, 1977 until March 24, 1985 due to martial law.

On October 12, 1999, Pervez Musharraf overthrew Nawaz Sharif, and took the title of Chief Executive. On June 20, 2001, he was made the President of Pakistan. Elections were held on October 10, 2002 leading to the return of the position of Prime Minister

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