The Constitution of Pakistan, for reasons discussed below, defines the state completely different than how is it defined by international law. Therefore, before the definition of State under article 7 of the Constitution of Pakistan is discussed it is necessary to throw a glance on the definition of State under international law.

Definition of State under International Law

Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, 1933 lays down the most widely accepted criteria of statehood in international law. It states that state as an international person should possess the following qualifications:

(a) a permanent population

(b) a defined territory

(c) government

(d) capacity to enter into relations with other states (sovereignty)

According to the Arbitration Commission of the European Conference on Yugoslavia, Opinion No. 01, 1991:

“the state is commonly defined as a community which consists of a territory and a population subject to an organized political authority; that such a state is characterized by sovereignty.”

Definition of State under art 7 of the Constitution of Pakistan

In this part, unless the context otherwise requires, the State means:

  • Federal Government,
  • Parliament,
  • A Provincial Government,
  • A Provincial Assembly, and
  • Local or other authorities in Pakistan as are by law empowered to impose any tax or cess.
Article 7 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973

Why a different definition of State?

The definition of term ‘State’ at the beginning of chapter 1, part two that contains Fundamental Rights is meant to indicate the authorities and instrumentalities functioning within Pakistan which shall be deemed to be State  and which, therefore, shall act in conformity with the provisions of part two of the Constitution.

From the definition of the state it follows that it is not only the legislative action, but also the executive and administrative actions taken at the instance of any agency mentioned in art. 7, that can be challenged on the grounds that is violative of the fundamental rights guaranteed by part two.

The wording ‘in this part unless the context otherwise require’ makes it clear that the definition of state is specifically meant to be applicable to part II of the Constitution and it does not apply to other parts of the constitution.

No mention of judicature

Judicature is state organ but it has been excluded from the definition of state for the obvious reason that its function is to decide whether a fundamental right has been violated or not? SC being on the top judicature, whose decision are binding on all other courts in Pakistan (art189), the question that SC has violated fundamental right will be out of question. However, the court may review its previous decisions, under art 188, to see, inter se, that whether fundamental right has been violated or not?

The judicature is the guardian of Constitution and fundamental rights contained in it. It is the final authority to determine what the law is on a particular subject. It is, therefore, difficult to imagine of a case in which determination of judiciary  can itself be subject to any supervision by any agency than by judiciary itself. If the final court i.e. Supreme Court declares what the law is on a particular point, the matter cannot be re-contested on any forum on the ground that the decision or determination of the Supreme Court is contrary to constitution or violates fundamental rights. However, the matter can be taken up by the review petition before the Supreme Court and if the Supreme Court refuse to give any effect to the submission that its decision is unconstitutional or violates the fundamental rights, it would not be possible to agitate the matter on any other forum. This is the reason that ‘judicature’ is not mentioned in article 7 of the Constitution.

Does the definition of State Include autonomous bodies?

The West Pakistan Road Transport Board and WAPDA are neither federal nor provincial governments, though they discharge functions which are ordinarily the functions of the government. (PLD 1974 39) They can, therefore, fall within the definition of State. Though these bodies are autonomous, they are practically controlled by and are department of government. As the definition  of “person” in the interpretation clause (art 260) includes a body corporate, these autonomous bodies are persons” (PLD 1973 Lah 82)

Give your valuable feedback about this post in the comment section below, please.


  1. I’m really enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to come here and
    visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme?
    Fantastic work!

  2. Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for information about this
    subject for a long time and yours is the best I’ve found out so far.

    However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure in regards to the source?

  3. Wow, amazing blog layout! How lengthy have you ever been blogging for?
    you make running a blog look easy. The overall glance of your web site is excellent,
    let alone the content material!

  4. What’s up to every one, for the reason that I am genuinely eager of reading this weblog’s post to be updated on a
    regular basis. It includes fastidious information.

  5. 51618 541244Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I is going to be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly. 207101

  6. 128327 556774Soon after study several with the content for your internet site now, i genuinely as if your technique of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and are checking back soon. Pls have a look at my web site too and told me should you agree. 969791

  7. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my
    trouble. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  8. I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But want to
    remark on some general things, The website style is wonderful,
    the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

  9. 141351 2629Id ought to verify with you here. Which isnt 1 thing I often do! I get pleasure from reading a put up that will make individuals think. Furthermore, thanks for permitting me to comment! 711047

  10. 813409 913922I merely couldnt go away your website before suggesting that I really enjoyed the normal details an individual give on your visitors? Is gonna be back frequently so that you can inspect new posts. 323664

  11. 69687 461655Whoah this blog is magnificent i genuinely like reading your articles. Keep up the very good paintings! You realize, plenty of persons are looking round for this information, you can aid them greatly. 340672

  12. hello there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website many times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective exciting content. Ensure that you update this again very soon..

  13. 854147 824172youre in point of fact a good webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It seems that youre performing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. youve done a great activity on this subject! 729011

  14. 749705 777636Oh my goodness! a wonderful post dude. Thanks Even so My business is experiencing problem with ur rss . Do not know why Struggling to join it. Is there anybody finding identical rss concern? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx 535433

  15. I got what you intend, regards for putting up.Woh I am happy to find this website through google. “Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against not with the wind.” by Hamilton Mabie.

  16. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any approach you may remove me from that service? Thanks!

  17. I simply had to thank you very much again. I’m not certain what I would’ve taken care of without the entire aspects provided by you on such question. It truly was a real terrifying crisis for me, however , taking a look at a new specialised approach you processed it forced me to cry for contentment. I’m just happy for this assistance and even wish you know what a powerful job that you’re putting in teaching the rest through the use of a blog. Most likely you have never got to know all of us.