ABSTRACT

In Pakistan federalism has been struggling to take roots even after more than 66 years of its emergence, as the country has failed to show federal character of the state and the nation in strict sense of the term. Since its creation in 1947 it has failed to establish an organic and effective covenant between the federation and the federating units, despite some incremental forward movements toward provincial autonomy and devolution (Ahmad, 2010: 15). Federalism was provided as one of the promises for the creation of Pakistan in the Muslim League’s Lahore Resolution in 1940. However, federalism as a symbol of shared sovereignty has not been promoted to establish a successful federal state. Pakistan since its emergence has rhetorically or notionally been a federal state but in reality the unitarian character of the state has prevailed. The climate of Pakistan has remained authoritarian and centripetal despite the apparent federal features, which various constitutions entailed from time to time. The role of central government and federal agencies has dominated/overshadowed the affairs of the units during the rule of both the democratic governments and military regimes. Therefore, Pakistani federal experiment has been labeled by various scholars as ‘confused’, ‘lopsided’, ‘defunct’, and ‘failed’.