Fundamental Rights of Citizens in Pakistan: A Pillar of the Constitution
- 2 Nov, 2023
Fundamental rights are the bedrock of any democratic society, ensuring that citizens are granted certain liberties and protections. In Pakistan, the Constitution of 1973 guarantees a comprehensive set of fundamental rights to its citizens. These rights are essential to preserving the principles of justice, equality, and freedom in the country. In this blog, we will explore the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and their significance.
The Constitution of Pakistan
The Constitution of Pakistan is the supreme law of the land, and it was adopted in 1973. It outlines the country's political structure, the powers of the government, and the rights and responsibilities of its citizens. The fundamental rights are a crucial component of this constitution and are outlined in Part II, Chapter 1.
Key Fundamental Rights in Pakistan
Right to Equality (Article 25):
- Every citizen is equal before the law and has the right to be treated equally.
- Discrimination on the basis of race, religion, caste, sex, or place of birth is prohibited.
Right to Freedom (Article 19):
- Citizens have the right to freedom of speech, expression, assembly, and association.
- These rights are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order, decency, or morality.
Right to Information (Article 19-A):
- This right was added through the 18th Amendment and ensures that citizens have access to information in matters of public importance.
Right to Education (Article 25-A):
- The state shall provide free and compulsory education to all children aged 5 to 16 years.
Right to Personal Liberty (Article 9):
- No person can be deprived of their life or liberty except in accordance with the law.
Freedom of Movement (Article 15):
- Every citizen has the right to move freely throughout Pakistan.
Freedom of Religion (Article 20):
- Every citizen has the right to profess, practice, and propagate their religion.
- Religious minorities are free to manage their religious institutions.
Significance of Fundamental Rights in Pakistan
Protection of Individual Liberty: Fundamental rights protect the individual liberties of citizens, ensuring that they can live their lives without fear of arbitrary arrest or discrimination.
Promoting Equality: These rights promote equality among all citizens, regardless of their background, religion, or gender. They ensure that all Pakistanis are treated fairly under the law.
Fostering Democracy: Fundamental rights are essential for a thriving democracy. They enable citizens to voice their opinions, assemble, and participate in the democratic process without fear of persecution.
Ensuring Social Justice: Rights like the right to education and right to information help in achieving social justice by ensuring that every citizen has access to essential services and information.
Balancing State Power: These rights act as a check on the government's power, preventing it from overstepping its boundaries and infringing on the rights of citizens.
Challenges and Progress
While the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees these fundamental rights, challenges remain. Implementation and enforcement can be uneven, and some groups may still face discrimination. However, there have been significant efforts to address these issues, including legal reforms and public awareness campaigns.
Fundamental rights in Pakistan are a cornerstone of its democratic system and are integral to protecting the freedoms and liberties of its citizens. These rights promote equality, social justice, and individual freedoms. While challenges persist, continued efforts to uphold and enforce these rights are essential for the betterment of Pakistani society and its democratic ideals. It is the collective responsibility of the government and citizens to ensure that these rights are respected and protected.