Government of Pakistan

The government of Pakistan is formed of Parliamentary system.

Two major figures of the government are the President and the Prime minister who run the government with support from Cabinet, Ministers, Civil Service, federal agencies and departments.

The President

The President is head of state and civilian Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Armed Forces. The President is elected indirectly by the Parliament of Pakistan for a term of 5 years.

The President:

  • is a ceremonial figurehead
  • has no direct authority in running the government
  • can directly grant pardons, reprieves
  • appoints higher commands in military (with Prime Minister's advice)
  • confirms judicial appointments in national court system

The President of Pakistan is Arif Alvi.

Read more about the President's role

President's office website

The Prime Minister

The Prime Minister is head of government, leads different departments and National Command Authority over the nuclear arsenals. The Prime Minister is elected by members of the National Assembly for a term of 5 years.

The Prime Minister:

  • oversees the operations of Ministries, Civil Service and government agencies
  • can appoint members of government
  • is the leader of the house for National Assembly
  • chairs the Council of Common Interests
  • acts as chief advisor to the President

The Prime Minister of Pakistan is Shehbaz Sharif.

Read more about the Prime Minister's role

Prime Minister's office website

How government works

Based on Westminster system, the government is made up of 3 major branches:

  • Legislature
  • Executive
  • Judicial


The Legislature is the bicameral Parliament of Pakistan. The Parliament meetings are held regularly at the Parliament House in Islamabad.

The Parliament is made up of two legislative houses:

National Assembly is headed by the Speaker and Senate is headed by the Chairperson.

National Assembly website

Senate website


The Executive branch is responsible for running the state based on laws and policies set by the Legislature. The Executives are answerable to the Parliament.

The Executive is made up of:

  • The Prime Minister
  • Cabinet
  • Ministries
  • Advisors
  • Civil Service

The Cabinet

The Cabinet is made up of senior government officials chosen and lead by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet holds a weekly meeting presided by Cabinet Secretary who reports to the Prime Minister. Some of the Cabinet members are advisors to the Prime Minister.

The Cabinet Secretary is Fazal Abbas Maken.

Read more about the Cabinet

Cabinet office website

Civil Service

The Civil Service of Pakistan is the permanent bureaucracy of the Government of Pakistan. It is considered as backbone of the state. The Civil Service is headed by the Establishment Secretary reporting directly to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister is the final authority in all matters of the Civil Service.

The Civil Service:

  • is also known as Central Superior Services
  • is responsible for running all civilian services and bureaucratic operations
  • have influence on defence, financial, internal and foreign policies
  • is made up of 12 directorates that provide vital office duties for the state
  • has a very competitive selection critera via CSS Examination conducted and supervised by Federal Public Service Commission (FSCP)

The Establishment Secretary is Inamullah Khan.

Read more about Civil Service

Establishment Division website


The Judicial branch is responsible for the justice system. It is made up of the nationwide network of District, Shariah, Anti-terrorism, Environmental courts, a High Court for each province and the Supreme Court of Pakistan; being the highest office of all.

The Supreme Court is headed by the Chief Justice with support from other senior Justices appointed by the President.

The Chief Justice is Asif Saeed Khan Khosa

Read more about the Supreme Court

Supreme Court website

State Administration

The state administration is divided into provincial, tribal, territorial and associated governments. These governments are then divided further to a third level of local governments.


Provincial governments are responsible to run each province with support from the federal government. There are 5 provincial governments:

Each province has a Chief Minister who heads the government. A Governor who is head of the province and representative of federal government.

The legislature of provicial government is the unicameral assembly. The judicial branch consists of District and local courts; High Court being the superior in each province.


Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and functions as territorial administrative area. The administration consists of a Mayor, local government and law enforcement authorities.

Read more about Islamabad Capital Territory


Tribal governments are responsible for the tribal areas. There are two tribal areas:

The administration in these areas functions at basic levels and more equal to Local governments. The judiciary in these rural tribal areas consists of Jirga system.


Associated Government is same as provincial government but with some differences. Government of Azad Kashmir is the only associated government The associated government is responsible for all matters of Azad Kashmir and has support from the federal government.

Government of Azad Kashmir has:

  • a President who is head of the state
  • a Prime Minister who is head of the government
  • a legisative house
  • a Supereme Court

Read more about Government of Azad Kashmir