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Wednesday June 12, 2024

Golden Jubilee celebrations of 1973 Constitution start today

NA speaker to inaugurate celebrations by laying the foundation stone of the Constitution Monument at D-Chowk

By Asim Yasin
April 10, 2023
NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf briefs a meeting regarding the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Constitution at the Parliament House on April 7, 2023. — Twitter/@NAofPakistan
NA Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf briefs a meeting regarding the Golden Jubilee Celebration of the Constitution at the Parliament House on April 7, 2023. — Twitter/@NAofPakistan

ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly, under the leadership of Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, is all set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973, a landmark document that laid the foundation of a democratic and progressive society in the country.

The month-long celebrations will commence on April 10, 2023, with a series of events to commemorate the founding principles of federal parliamentary democracy, social justice, and equality, as enshrined in the 1973 Constitution.

These activities have been meticulously chalked out by the Parliamentary Advisory Committee, constituted by the speaker, drawing members from both houses of the Parliament and headed by seasoned parliamentarian Senator Main Raza Rabbani.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf will inaugurate the celebrations by laying the foundation stone of the Constitution monument at the site approved by the Advisory Committee, opposite Parliament Lodges, D-Chowk, Islamabad.

The monument will serve as a permanent reminder of the importance of the Constitution in the nation’s history.

This will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial of the unsung heroes of democracy in the Parliament House, paying homage to those who fought for democracy and constitutionalism in Pakistan.

The speaker will also inaugurate an exhibition showcasing rare pictures of the Constitution’s framers, inspect a commemorative stamp, and then head to the second floor of the Parliament to inspect the original Constitution and other manuscripts.

The celebrations will culminate in the National Constitution Convention in the main assembly hall, to be attended by parliamentarians and people from all walks of life.

The convention will be chaired by Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Advisory Committee Chairman Senator Mian Raza Rabbani, and other participants will pay tribute to the framers of the Constitution and reflect on how it has served as a cornerstone of democracy, justice, and equality in the country.

The session will also pass a number of resolutions related to the Constitution’s recognition as a binding document, its incorporation into the national curriculum, a homage to the Constitution’s framers, and declaring the State Bank building (old National Assembly hall) as a national monument.

The celebrations will be followed by a joint session of the Parliament, scheduled for 4 pm, which will continue the discussions and reflections on the importance of the Constitution in shaping the destiny of Pakistan.

The Golden Jubilee celebrations of the 1973 Constitution promise to be a landmark event in Pakistan’s history, celebrating the ideals and principles that define the country’s democratic and progressive identity.

The month-long activities include speech contests in educational institutions, quiz competition, exhibitions, special programmes by electronic media, newspaper supplements, issuance of commemorative coin and stamp as well as an international constitution convention on May 10, 2023.

Meanwhile, former president Asif Ali Zardari and PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari highlighted the importance of 1973 Constitution on the event of Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari said the country was facing difficulties because some people had deviated from the Constitution, adding: “Now is the time we all follow the Constitution for the sake of the nation and the country.”

He said the power to make future decisions for the country should be left to the Parliament as it is the biggest court of the people and all would have to surrender before this court.

Asif Ali Zardari expressed his determination to protect the Constitution. “The 1973 Constitution was gifted to the people by Quaid-e-Awam, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It is a document that was formed by consensus and has the signatures of all the members of the National Assembly,” he added.

He said the importance of the 1973 Constitution can be gauged by how all the members in the National Assembly with different political and religious affiliations had signed the document, agreeing to the Constitution.

He paid homage to all the politicians who signed the 1973 Constitution and saluted the heroes of PPP who rendered great sacrifices for the restoration of the Constitution under the leadership of the Mother of Democracy, Begum Nusrat Bhutto and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.

The former president said that the restoration of the 1973 Constitution in its original form was the mission of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s life. “This was achieved by restoring the Constitution in its original form through the 18th Constitutional Amendment,” he added.

PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said the 1973 Constitution is “our national agenda and bond of the federation.”

He said the PPP stands by the Constitution and the democratic system as always, and is determined to finally defeat the mindset that considers the Constitution as just a piece of paper.

He said the 1973 Constitution is the gift and trust of the first elected prime minister of the country, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and paid homage to all the political leaders who played their role in creating a unanimous Constitution for the nation. “After August 14, 1947, the second most important day in our national history is April 10, 1973,” he added.

The foreign minister said the Constitution of 1973 is a true reflection of Pakistan as it strengthens federation. “Our country is an Islamic country, so the spirit of our Constitution is Islamic teachings. We are a country of democrats, so ours is a democratic Constitution and guarantees our national solidarity and unity,” he added.