The Due Recognition of Constitution Day in Pakistan

Constitution Day of Pakistan has been celebrated since 2015. Former chairman Senate, Raza Rabbani, took this initiative to mark 10th of April as our Constitution Day by highlighting the importance of land mark date of 10th April. It is dilemma of our constitutional history that after the span of 42 years, we decided to celebrate our constitution day but better late than never. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was passed by the Parliament on 10th April and ratified on 14th August, 1973.

Americans usually observe Constitution Day on September 17th, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional convention signed the document in Philadelphia. The law establishing public holiday regarding this day was passed in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd[1] to the Omnibus Spending Bill of 2004. While Indian Constitution Day, also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated on 26th November of every year to commemorate the adoption of Constitution of India. Indian government declared 26 November as Indian Constitution Day in 2015, as 2015 marked the 125th birth anniversary of Ambedkar, who chaired the drafting committee of Indian Constitution and played a pivotal role in drafting Indian constitution.

I had been teaching the importance of US constitutional convention of 1787 held at Philadelphia for past couple of weeks to my students. It had a significant position in US constitutional history. While on the other hand, importance of Pakistan’s constitutional convention of 1972 attended by leaders and constitutional experts of the Islamic political parties, conservative parties, socialist and communist parties was not part of my legal education as US constitutional convention was. Thus, it is need of an hour to teach our young law graduates about our constitutional history in detail.

Since we had been celebrating our Constitutional day from 2015, it is the responsibility of our Government to spread awareness regarding it and our Bar associations should also play their active role in celebrating this day across the country.  Last year’s theme of commemoration of Pakistan’s Constitutional Day was:

“Enhancement of the role and powers of Senate of Pakistan; to protect the rights of the Federating units.”

I contacted the officials of Senate and asked about this year’s theme and they told me that it’s confidential. Then what is the purpose of celebrating a day when our public do not have any kind of access to official statements of the state. National Assembly Speaker, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq issued the statement to celebrate this year Constitution Day:

“The supremacy of the constitution should be our ultimate aim because it will guarantee democracy, fundamental rights and security for each and every citizen of the state.”

To conclude it, I humbly request our political leadership and legal fraternity to make arrangements to celebrate Constitution Day in our law schools and in our Bar associations across the country. These celebrations will help to appreciate the efforts of the members of constitutional convention of 1972. This will be an excellent way to commemorate the constitutional history of our beloved country.

[1] ‘Constitution Day and Citizenship Day’ (LOC.GOV 2017) < https://www.loc.gov/law/help/commemorative-observations/constitution-day.php> accessed on 10 April  2018



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