Framework Order, 1970
Legal Framework Order was issued as President's Order No. 2 of 1970
by the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator, General A.
M. Yahya Khan on March 30, 1970 in Rawalpindi.
Although the Order mainly dealt
with election procedures, it can still be counted as a constitutional
landmark because it was in this order that the principle of adult
franchise was reintroduced to promote direct election of legislature
and executive. Also, the Order provided some basic principles for
the future constitution of the country.
Legal Framework Order, 1970
WHEREAS in his first address to the nation on the
26th March, 1969, the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator
pledged himself to strive to restore democratic institutions in
AND WHEREAS in his address to the nation on the 28th
November, 1969, he reaffirmed that pledge and announced that polling
for a general election to a National Assembly of Pakistan will commence
on the 5th October, 1970;
AND WHEREAS he has since decided that polling for
elections to the Provincial Assemblies shall commence not later
than the 22nd October, 1970 ;
AND WHEREAS provision has already been made by the
Electoral Rolls Order, 1969, for the preparation of electoral rolls
for the purpose of election of representatives of the people on
the basis of adult franchise :
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to provide for the constitution
of a National Assembly of Pakistan for the purpose of making provision
as to the Constitution of Pakistan in accordance with this Order
and a Provincial Assembly for each Province ;
NOW, THEREFORE, in pursuance of the Proclamation
of the 25th day of March, 1969, and in exercise of all powers enabling
him in that behalf, the President and Chief Martial Law Administrator
is pleased to make the following order:
(1) This Order may be called the Legal Framework
(2) It shall come into force on such date as the
President may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint
in this behalf.
To override other laws
This order shall have effect notwithstanding anything
to the contrary contained in the Provisional Constitution Order,
the Constitution of 1962 of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan or
any other law for the time being in force.
(1) In this order unless there is anything repugnant
in the subject or context.
(i) "Assembly" means the National Assembly
of Pakistan or a Provincial Assembly for a Province provided for
in this Order ;
(ii) "Commission" means the Election Commission
constituted under Article 8 ;
(lit) "Commissioner" means the Chief Election
Commissioner appointed or deemed to be appointed under the Electoral
Rolls Older, 1969 (P. 0. No. 6 of 1969) ;
(iv) "electoral roll" means the electoral
roll prepared under the Electoral Rolls Order, 1969, (P.O. No. 6
of 1969) ;
(v) "member" means member of an Assembly.
(vi) "Speaker" means the Speaker of the
National Assembly; and
(vii) "Centrally Administered Tribal Areas"
has the same meaning as in the Province of West Pakistan (Dissolution)
(2) In relation to the territories included at the
commencement of this Order in the Province of West Pakistan, references
to a Province and a Provincial Assembly shall be construed as references
respectively to a new Province provided for in the Province of West
Pakistan (Dissolution) Order, 1970, and the Provincial Assembly
for such Province.
Composition of N.A.
(1) There shall be a National Assembly of Pakistan
consisting of three hundred and thirteen members of -whom three
hundred shall be elected to fill general seats and thirteen to fill
seats reserved for women.
(2) In conformity with the population figures appearing
in the Census of 1961, the number of seats in National Assembly
shall be distributed amongst the Provinces and the Centrally Administered
Tribal Areas, as set out in Schedule I.
(3) Clause (1) shall not be construed as preventing
a woman from being elected to a general seat.
(1) There shall be a Provincial Assembly for each
Province consisting of the number of members elected to fill general
seats and to fill seats reserved for women, as set out in Schedule
II in relation to such Province.
(2) Clause (1) shall not be construed as preventing
a woman from being elected to a general seat.
Principle of election
(1) Except as provided in clause (2), the members
shall be elected to the general seats from territorial constituencies
by direct election on the basis of adult franchise in accordance
(2) The President may, by regulation, make separate
provision for election of members from the Centrally Administered
(3) As soon as practicable after the general election
of members of the National Assembly, the members from a Province
for the seats reserved for women in that Assembly shall be elected
by persons elected to the general seats from that Province in accordance
(4) The members for scats reserved for women in a
Provincial Assembly shall be elected by persons elected to the general
seats in that Assembly in accordance with law.
Where a seat in the National Assembly has become
vacant, an election to fill the vacancy shall be held within three
weeks from the occurrence of the vacancy.
For the purposes of election of the members of an
Assembly and matters connected therewith, the President shall constitute
an Election Commission consisting of the following members namely:
(a) the Commissioner, who shall be the Chairman
of the Commission; and
(b) two other members, each being a person who
is a permanent Judge of a High Court.
Qualifications and disqualifications.
(1) A person shall, subject to the provisions of
Clause (2), be qualified to be elected as, and to be, a member if-
(a) he is citizen of Pakistan;
(b) he has attained the age of twenty-five years;
(c) his name appears on the electoral roll
for any constituency in the Province or Centrally Administered
Tribal Areas from which he seeks election.
(2) A person shall be disqualified from beings-elected
as, and from being, a member if-
(a) he is of unsound mind and stands so declared
by a competent court; or
(b) he is an undischarged insolvent unless a period
of ten years has elapsed since his being adjudged as insolvent;
(c) he has been, on conviction for any offence,
sentenced to transportation for any term or to imprisonment for
a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years,
or such less period as the President may allow in any particular
case, has elapsed since his release; or
(d) he has been a member of the President's Council
of Ministers at any time following the 1st August, 1969 unless
a period of two years or such less period as the President may
allow in any particular case, has elapsed since he ceased to be
a Minister; or
(e) he holds office in the service of Pakistan
other than an office which is not a wholetime office remunerated
either by salary or by fee; or
(f) he has been dismissed for misconduct from the
service of Pakistan, unless a period of five years, or such less
period as the President may allow in any particular case, has
elapsed since his dismissal; or
(g) such person is the spouse of a person in the
service of Pakistan; or
(h) he, whether by himself or by any person
or body of persons in trust for him or for his benefit or on his
account or as a member of a Hindu undivided family, has any share
or interest in a contract not being a contract between a co-operative
society and Government, for the supply of goods to, or for the
execution of any contract or the performance of any services undertaken
Provided that the disqualification under sub-clause,
(h) shall not apply to a person -
(i) where the share or interest in the contract
devolves on him by inheritance or succession or as a legatee,
executor or administrator, until the expiration of six months
after it has so devolved on him or such longer period as the
President may, in any particular case, allow; or
(ii) where the contract has been entered into
by or ' on behalf of a public company as defined in the Companies
Act, 1913 (VII of 1913), of which he is a share-holder but is
neither a director holding an office of profit under the company
nor a managing agent; or
(iii) where he is a member of a Hindu undivided
family and the contract has been entered into by any other member
of that family in the course of carrying on a separate business
in which he has no share or interest.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared
that a Judge of the Supreme Court or a High Court, the Comptroller
and Auditor General of Pakistan, the Attorney General of Pakistan
and an Advocate General of a Province are persons holding offices
in the service of Pakistan.
(4) If any question arises whether a member has after
his election, become subject to any disqualification the Commissioner
shall place the question before the Election Commission and, if
the opinion of the Commission be that the member has become so subject,
his seat shall become vacant.
Bar against candidature
(1) No person shall at the same time be a member
of more than one Assembly or a member of the same Assembly for more
than one constituency.
(2) Nothing in clause (1) shall prevent a person
from being at the same time a candidate for election from two
or more constituencies, but if a person has been elected as a member
for two or more constituencies and does not within fifteen days
of the notification of his election by the constituency by which
he has been elected last, make a declaration in writing under his
hand addressed to the Commissioner specifying the constituency which
he wishes to represent, all his seats shall become vacant, but so
long as he is a member for two or more constituencies he shall not
sit or vote in an Assembly.
(1) A member may resign his seat by notice in writing
under his hand addressed to the Speaker.
(2) If a member is absent from the Assembly without
leave of the Speaker for fifteen consecutive sitting days, his seat
shall become vacant.
(3) If a member fails to take and subscribe an oath
in accordance with Article 12 within a period of seven days from
the date of the first meeting of the Assembly after | his election,
his seat shall become vacant :
Provided that the Speaker or, if the Speaker has
not been elected, the Commissioner, may, before the expiration
of the said period, for good cause shown, extend the period.
A person elected as a member of an Assembly shall,
before entering upon the office, take and subscribe, before a person
presiding at a meeting of the Assembly, an oath or affirmation in
the following form, namely :-
"I... do solemnly swear (or affirm)
that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Pakistan and that
I will discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter honestly,
to the best of my ability, faithfully in accordance with the provisions
of the Legal Framework Order, 1970, the law and rules of the Assembly
set out in that Order, and always in the interest of the solidarity,
integrity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan."
Date of polling
Polling for election to the National Assembly shall
commence on the 5th October, 1970 and polling for election to the
Provincial Assemblies shall commence on a date not later than the
22nd October, 1970.
Summoning of Assembly
(i) After the close of the general election of members
of the National Assembly, the President shall, for the purpose of
framing a Constitution for Pakistan, summon the National Assembly
to meet on such day and at such time and place as he may think fit;
and the National Assembly so summoned shall stand constituted on
the day of its first meeting:
Provided that nothing in this clause shall be construed
as preventing the President from summoning the National Assembly
on the ground that all the seats of the members have not been
(2) After meeting as convened under clause (1), the
National Assembly shall meet at such times and places as the Speaker
(3) The National Assembly shall, subject to reasonable
adjournments, meet from day to day to transact its business.
The President may address the National Assembly and
send a message or messages to the Assembly.
Speaker and Deputy Speaker
(1) The National Assembly shall, as soon as may be,
elect two of its members to be respectively the Speaker and Deputy
Speaker thereof and shall, so often as the office of Speaker or
Deputy Speaker becomes vacant, elect another member to be the Speaker,
or, as the case may be. Deputy Speaker.
(2) Until the Speaker and Deputy Speaker are elected,
the Commissioner shall preside at the meetings of the National Assembly
and perform the functions of Speaker.
(3) Where the office of the Speaker is vacant, the
Deputy Speaker, or, if the office of the Deputy Speaker is also
vacant, the Commissioner, shall perform the functions of Speaker.
(4) During the absence of the Speaker from any meeting
of the National Assembly, the Deputy Speaker or if the Deputy Speaker
is also absent, such member, as may be determined by the rules of
procedure of the Assembly, shall perform the functions of Speaker.
(5) A member holding office as Speaker or Deputy
Speaker shall cease to hold that office-
(a) if he ceases to be a member of the National
(b) if he resigns his office by writing under his
hand addressed to the President; or
(c) if a resolution expressing want of confidence
in him is moved in the Assembly after not less than fourteen days'
notice of the intention to move it and passed by the votes of
not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of the
Quorum and Rules of Procedure
(1) If, at any time during a meeting of the National
Assembly, the attention of the person presiding at the meeting is
drawn to the fact that the number of persons present is less than
one hundred, the person presiding shall either suspend the meeting
until the number of members present is not less than one hundred
or adjourn the meeting.
(2) The procedure of the National Assembly shall
be regulated by the rules of procedure set out in Schedule III;
in particular the National Assembly shall decide how a decision
relating to the Constitution Bill is to be taken.
(3) The National Assembly may act notwithstanding
any vacancy in the seat of a member and no proceedings in the Assembly
shall be invalid by reason that some members whose election is subsequently
held to have been void or who, after election had incurred a disqualification
for membership . voted or otherwise took part in the proceedings.
(1) The validity of any proceeding? in the National
Assembly shall not be called in question in any court.
(2) A member or a person entitled to speak in the
National Assembly shall not be liable to any proceedings in any
court in respect of anything said or any vote given by him in the
Assembly or in any committee thereof.
(3) The exercise by an officer of the National Assembly
of the powers vested in him for the regulation of procedure, the
conduct of business or the maintenance of order, in or in relation
to any proceeding in the Assembly shall not be subject to the jurisdiction
of any court.
(4) A person shall not be liable to any proceedings
in any court in respect of the publication by, or under the authority
of the National Assembly of any report, paper, vote or proceedings.
(5) No process issued by a court or other authority
shall, except with the leave of the Speaker, be served or executed
within the precincts of the place where a meeting of the National
Assembly or of any Committee thereof is being held.
Allowances of members
The Speaker, the Deputy Speaker and the other members
shall be entitled to such allowances and privileges as the President
may, by order, prescribe.
Fundamental Principles of the Constitution
The Constitution shall be so framed as to embody
the following fundamental principles :-
(1) Pakistan shall be a federal republic to be known
as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in which the provinces and other
territories which are now and may hereinafter be included in Pakistan
shall be so united in a federation that the independence, the territorial
integrity and the national solidarity of Pakistan are ensured and
that the unity of the federation is not in any manner impaired.
(2) (a) Islamic ideology which is the basis for the
creation of Pakistan shall be preserved ; and
(b) the Head of the State shall be a Muslim.
(3) (a) Adherence to fundamental principles of democracy
shall be ensured by providing direct and free periodical elections
to the federal and the provincial legislatures on the basis of population
and adult franchise;
(b) the Fundamental Rights of the citizens
shall be laid down and guaranteed ;
(c) the independence of the judiciary in the matter
of dispensation of justice and enforcement of the fundamental
rights shall be secured.
(4) All powers including legislative, administrative
and financial, shall be so distributed between the Federal Government
and the Provinces that the Provinces shall have maximum autonomy,
that is to say maximum legislative, administrative and financial
powers but the Federal Government shall also have adequate powers
including legislative, administrative and financial powers, to discharge
its responsibilities in relation to external and internal affairs
and to preserve the independence and territorial integrity of the
(5) It shall be ensured that-
(a) the people of all areas in Pakistan shall
be enabled to participate fully in all forms of national activities;
(b) within a specified period, economic and
all other disparities between the Provinces and between different
areas in a Province are removed by the adoption of statutory and
Preamble of the Constitution
The Constitution shall contain, in its preamble,
an affirmation that-
(1) the Muslims of Pakistan shall be enabled, individually
and collectively, to order their lives in accordance with the teachings
of Islam as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah; and
(2) the minorities shall be enabled to profess and
practise their religions freely and to enjoy all rights, privileges
and protection due to them as citizens of Pakistan.
The Constitution shall set out directive principles
of State Policy by which the State shall be guided in the matter
(1) promoting Islamic way of life;
(2) observance of Islamic moral standards ;
(3) providing facilities for the teaching of Holy
Quran and Islamiat to the Muslims of Pakistan; and
(4) enjoining that no law repugnant to the teachings
and requirements of Islam, as set out in the Holy Quran and Sunnah,
Assemblies to be first legislatures
The Constitution shall provide that-
(1) the National Assembly, constituted under this
(a) be the first legislature of the Federation
for the full term if the legislature of the Federation consists
of one House, and
(b) be the first Lower House of the legislature
of the Federation for the full term if the legislature of the
Federation consists of two Houses.
(2) The Provincial Assemblies elected in accordance
with this Order shall be the first legislatures of the respective
Provinces for the full term.
Time for framing Constitution
The National Assembly shall frame the Constitution
in the form of a Bill to be called the Constitution Bill within
a period of one hundred and twenty days from the date of its first
meeting and on its failure to do so shall stand dissolved.
The Constitution Bill, as passed by the National
Assembly, shall be presented to the President for authentication.
The National Assembly shall stand dissolved in the event that authentication
(1) Save as provided in this Order for the purpose
of framing a constitution for Pakistan, the National Assembly shall
not meet in that capacity, until the Constitution Bill passed by
that Assembly and authenticated by the President, has come into
(2) A Provincial Assembly shall not be summoned to
meet until after the Constitution Bill passed by the National Assembly
has been authenticated by the President, and has come into force.
Interpretation of Order etc
(1) Any question or doubt as to the interpretation
of any provision of this Order shall be resolved by a decision of
the President, and such decision shall be final and not liable to
be questioned in any Court.
(2) The President and not the National Assembly shall
have the power to make any amendment in this Order.
Go to Schedules
Source: Election Handbook 1970 by
Publishing and Marketing Associates Ltd, Karachi (1970)
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