Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Presented at the 7th Cornell Inter-University Graduate Student Conference, April 2011.


Although the impediments in development of federation in Pakistan can be explored from different facets, this paper aims to critically analyze the constitutional history and judicial interpretation of federalism in Pakistan against the scholarly and conceptual debates over the idea. The paper argues that Pakistan’s judiciary, despite recognizing federalism as cornerstone of the Constitution, has not upheld the principle as strongly as other salient features of the Constitution. The superior judiciary has strengthened the official discourse of a unitary national identity leaving little room for ethnical pluralism and participatory nationalism. The paper shall also review measures introduced by the recent 18th Amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan to promote provincial autonomy and will also make further suggestions to improve the federal scheme of Pakistan.

Date of Authorship for this Version



Federalism, Pakistan, Judicial Policy