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Old Monday, November 12, 2007
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Default Political structure of Pakistan

Political structure of Pakistan

From the Economist Intelligence Unit
Source: Country Report

Official name

Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Form of state

Federal parliamentary democracy (since October 2002); however, the military retains a strong controlling role and can dismiss parliament, making the political system in effect a quasi-dictatorship

The executive

General Pervez Musharraf is president and chief of army staff, having come to power through a military coup. A former banker, Shaukat Aziz, is prime minister and head of the government

National legislature

Bicameral legislature: the National Assembly (the lower house) was elected in October 2002. Of the 342 seats, 272 are elected on a first-past-the-post basis. Of the remainder, 60 are reserved for women and ten for non-Muslim minorities. These are allocated on the basis of proportional representation to parties that win more than 5% of the directly elected seats. The Senate (the upper house) consists of 100 senators. Of these, 22 are elected by each of the four provincial assemblies, eight are tribal representatives and four are representatives from the lower house

Provincial government

Elections for Pakistan's four provinces were held in October 2002. The provinces enjoy considerable autonomy, but this is causing tensions with the central government. The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA, a coalition of Islamic parties) performed strongly in the provincial elections; it now governs in the North West Frontier Province and, in alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-i-Azam), or PML (Q), in Baluchistan

National elections

General Musharraf was re-elected as president in a controversial election on October 6th 2007; the Supreme Court will rule on the legality of his win in late October. Elections for the national and provincial assemblies were held in October 2002; the next National Assembly election is due by January 2008. Elections for the Senate took place in February 2003; the next Senate election is due in February 2008

National government

Although supporters of General Musharraf are in a majority, no party won an outright majority in the October 2002 general election, and two months passed before the then prime minister, Zafarullah Jamali, was elected with a majority of one vote. In June 2004 Mr Jamali was forced to resign by supporters of General Musharraf, and was replaced with an interim prime minister, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. He was succeeded by the current prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, in August 2004

Main political organisations

PML (Q); PPP; PML (N); MMA (which comprises six religious parties, including Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islami); Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM); National Alliance (comprising several small parties led by the Millat Party); Awami National Party (ANP); Tehrik-i-Insaf (TI); Jiye Sindh Qaumi Mahaz

National Security Council

President & chief of army staff: General Pervez Musharraf

Prime minister: Shaukat Aziz

Commerce minister: Humayun Akhtar Khan

Finance minister: Omar Ayub Khan

Foreign minister: Khurshid Kasuri

Interior minister: Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao

Privatisation & investment minister: Abdul Hafeez Shaikh

Central bank governor

Shamshad Akhtar


Pakistan is ruled by three As - Army, America and Allah.

Last edited by Aarwaa; Monday, November 12, 2007 at 05:54 PM.
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