The Constitution not only enumerates the fundamental rights of the citizens of Pakistan, but also highlights some basic duties to be undertaken by these citizens.
Last Updated: 27 Nov. 2014
Most modern constitutions guarantee certain fundamental rights to their people and Pakistan is no exception in this regard. In the Constitution (Part II Chapter I), these rights represent the most basic and essential constitutional protections. Some important fundamental rights are indicated below.
- Security of person (Art. 9)
- Safeguards as to arrest and detention (Art. 10)
- Right to fair trial (Art. 10A)
- Freedom of movement (Art. 15)
- Freedom of association (Art. 17)
- Freedom of speech (Art. 19)
- Freedom to profess religion (Art. 20)
- Protection of property rights (Art. 24)
- Equality of all citizens (Art. 25)
- Right to education (Art. 25A)
According to the Constitution, any law that is inconsistent with any of these fundamental rights shall automatically be deemed invalid. However, this does not mean that the citizens are entitled to unlimited liberty with regards to these rights since most of these rights are qualified rights i.e. the State is allowed to lawfully interfere with them under certain circumstances. For instance, the aforementioned security of person is subject to the law of the State and hence, the imprisonment of criminals is a legally justified criterion for interference and cannot be termed as a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens.
Furthermore, some fundamental rights (e.g. security of person, safeguards to an arrest and detention and the right to a fair trial) are available to all individuals living in the country whilst others (e.g. freedom of movement, freedom of association and freedom to profess one’s religion) are available only to the citizens of Pakistan.
Under Article 5 of the Constitution, a citizen has two basic duties: (1) Loyalty to the State and (2) Obedience to the Constitution.
While the first is listed as a duty of every citizen, the second extends, beyond the citizens of Pakistan (regardless of whether they are inside or outside Pakistani territory), to any individual residing within the country’s territory for the time being.