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As a result of British influence in the region the Pakistani legal system has been shaped by both Islamic law and the common law tradition.  The Pakistani Constitution establishes Islam as the religion of the State and Article 227 states that all legislation should conform to Islamic principles. Clearly Islamic principles have played a key role in the development of Pakistani law, including family law.  The Muslim Family Laws Ordinance was promulgated in 1961.

The majority of the population of Pakistan are Sunni Muslims following Hanafi law. There are also significant numbers of Shia Muslims and communities of Christians, Hindus, as well as a small percentage of followers of other religions such as the Baha’is.

Available Information

reunite´s Summary Text for Pakistan 
Legal Texts

•    Guardians and Wards Act 1980

•    Muslim Family Law Ordinance 1961

•    Pakistan, Citizenship Act 1951, Act No. II of 1951

•    Pakistan Citizenship Rules 1952

•    The Naturalization Act 1926, Act No. VII of 1926

•    Pakistan Naturalization Rules 1961

•    Family Courts Act 1964 West Pakistan Act No. XXXV of 1964

•    The West Pakistan Family Courts Rules 1965

•    Protection of Breastfeeding and Child Nutrition Ordinance, Ordinance No. XCIII of 2002.

•    Constitution 1973

•    The Punjab/Sind/NWFP/Baluchistan Muslim personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1962

•    The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Family Courts Act, 1993


•    Case Summary  S(Minors) (Abduction), Re (CA) Court of Appeal 17 December 1992.

•    Case Summary Re W (a child) (abduction:jurisdiction) Family Division [2003] EWHC 1820 (fam), [2003] All ER (D) 442 (Jul)

•    PLD 1963 SC51 Syed Ali Nawaz Gardezi Vs. Lt. Col. Muhammad Yusuf

•    1991 SCMR 681 Masood Ahmad Malik Vs. Mst. Fouzia Farhana Quddus

•    PLD 1967 SC 580 Mrs Marina Jatoi Vs. Nuruddin K. Jatoi


•    Convention on the Rights of the Child Report

•    Report on Citizenship by D. Zuberi

•    Report of Child Abduction Visit to Pakistan-Jan 05, Foreign & Commonwealth Office


•    Family Law Summary (Emory)

•    Child Abduction Summary (US State Dept.)

•    UK-Pakistan Judicial Protocol on Child and Family Law, Henry Setright QC and Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE