• By Faiq Ali Shah

A constitution stands as a fundamental document, a blueprint that shapes the identity and functioning of a country. It serves as a constant protector of rights, a guide to governance, and a symbol of national unity.

A constitution can be likened to the DNA of a nation, which embodies its values, principles and aspirations. It is a written or unwritten document that establishes the framework for government, defines the powers of the various branches, and protects the fundamental rights of citizens. In essence, it is the foundation on which the entire legal and political system rests.

The importance of constitution in any country cannot be overstated. Basically, a constitution ensures the rule of law, making everyone, including those in power, accountable. It acts as a safeguard against potential abuses of power, providing a set of norms that serve as a common ground for all citizens. The Constitution plays an important role in protecting individual rights and liberties, striking a balance between the authority of the government and the liberties of citizens.

In Pakistan, the first constitution was made in 1956 and the second in 1962 but they were reputiated and finally the constitution adopted in 1973 acts as a beacon for the nation. It outlines the political structure, principles of governance and rights of its citizens. This written constitution reflects the country’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law. The Constitution of Pakistan has been amended over the years to adapt to the changing needs of the society while maintaining its core values.

The Constitution of Pakistan establishes the country as an Islamic republic, incorporating the principles of Islam as well as a federal parliamentary system of government. But when it comes to secularism, it can be seen that the state has no religion because it is not necessary that only followers of one religion are living in the state. When you associate a state with a religion, it is an exploitation of the followers of other religions living in the state, because they are also a part of that state. The constitution sets the stage for democratic governance, ensuring that leaders are elected by and accountable to the people.

An important part of the Constitution of Pakistan is the chapter on fundamental rights (Articles 8 to 28). These rights act as a guarantee of fundamental freedoms for citizens. Among these, right to life and liberty (Article 9), freedom of speech and expression (Article 19), and right to education (Article 25-A) are prominent. The Constitution affirms the equality of all citizens before the law (Article 25) and prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, caste, sex, residence, or place of birth (Article 27).

The right to freedom of religion (Article 20) is evidence of Pakistan’s commitment to religious pluralism, which allows every citizen to freely profess, practice and propagate his religion. These fundamental rights collectively contribute to a just and inclusive society, fostering an environment where individual liberties are protected, and all citizens enjoy equal opportunities.

The Constitution of Pakistan is not just a legal document. It is a living proof of the nation’s values, resilience and commitment to democracy. As citizens, it is very important to understand the importance of the Constitution, as it is the backbone of the nation, which forms our collective identity and provides the framework for a just and prosperous society.

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