Pakistan is governed under the constitution of 1973 as amended, which provides for a federal parliamentary form of government. The president, who is head of state, is elected to a five-year term by an electoral college drawn from the national parliament and provincial assemblies. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is selected by the National Assembly. There is a bicameral legislature. The National Assembly has 342 members, 272 of them elected by popular vote, with 60 seats reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslims; all serve five-year terms. The 100 members of the Senate are indirectly elected by provincial assemblies and the territories' representatives in the National Assembly; they serve six-year terms. Each province has its own legislative assembly whose members are elected by direct popular vote, a provincial governor appointed by the president, and a chief minister elected by the legislative assembly. There is an independent judicial branch of government. Administratively, the country is divided into four provinces and two territories.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.