Powers of the Senate of Pakistan and Its Impacts on Federation

  • Asghar Raza Burfat
  • Dr. Aslam Pervez Memon


The fathers of the constitution never considered historical existence of the provinces and their identity as a genius factor and reality. The founder of Pakistan Mr. Jinnah and his party who himself was advocating provincial autonomy in British India himself changed the mind and they were against provincial autonomy and any move for lose center as anti-state theory. Thus the senate remained less powerful and dysfunctional chamber like British House of lords as compare to the National Assembly which is real representative house directly elected by popular vote. The senate of Pakistan passed a resolution in February 2017, to enhance its role and powers to protect the rights of provinces and their participation in the affairs of federation of Pakistan. This resolution has clearly bond the federal government for seeking senate approval for extension of National Finance Commission (NFC) Award for one years. The senate has gained the powers through same resolution to increase provincial share by 1% each time if the federal government will seek the extension in NFC Award it also possesses the powers to resolve any dispute between provinces and center, the issue of imposing any federal law on provinces. The following article discusses the powers of the Upper House (Senate) of the Pakistani Parliament in historical perspective. Some examples of popular federations has been given to support the idea of how a multiethnic state like Pakistan should empower its Upper House, the Senate, to bring in the clear parity of powers among Centre and federating units. Besides, in the conclusion, policy suggestions are included to the parliamentarians.