According to the Pakistani constitution, the country is a democratic parliamentary federal republic, and Islam is its state religion. Political ideologies in Pakistan are based on the nation’s social philosophy which is influenced by conservatism, the third way, and socialism. The Pakistani President is the head of state and the civilian commander in chief of the country’s defense forces. The government of Pakistan has three branches. The legislative arm is bicameral with a 342 member lower chamber and an upper chamber with 100 members. The executive comprises the Prime Minister who is head of government, and a cabinet appointed by the Prime Minister. The judicial wing is led by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and the Supreme Court of Pakistan is the apex court.

Pakistanis elect their representatives to the National Assembly and provincial assemblies through a popular vote. These members represent their constituents, and their terms last for five years. When the term elapses, the Prime Minister dissolves the lower house. Provincial legislators elect Senate members, and each of the provinces in the country has equal representation. Elections for one half of Senate take place every three years and once elected, a senator serves a six-year term. The President of Pakistan is selected by an Electoral College, and the Prime Minister is usually the leader of the political party or coalition that garners the majority seats in the lower chamber. The President stays in office for five years after which they may only be re-elected once.

The official abode of the Pakistani head of state is located in Islamabad. The presidential palace is locally known as Aiwan-e-Sadr. It is also the principal workplace of the President. Construction of the mansion began in the 1970s, and the first President to occupy it was Ghulam Ishaq Khan in 1988. The Prime Minister’s residence and offices are located in the Prime Minister’s Secretariat. The first occupant of the Secretariat moved in after its completion in 1973. The Parliament Building, which is also in Islamabad, is the seat of both legislative houses of the country; the Senate and the National Assembly.

There are many active political parties in Pakistan. These parties include the PTI, the Pakistan People's Party, the Pakistan Muslim League, and the Awami National Party.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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