The constitution (Seventeenth Amendment) Act, 2003 was an amendment to the constitution of Pakistan passed in December 2003, after over a year of political wrangling between supporters and opponents of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. This amendment made many changes to Pakistan’s constitution. Many of these change dealt with the office of the President and the reversal of the effects of the Thirteenth Amendment.
Due to following grounds, it can be opined that seventeenth amendment had produced some effects on parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.
1. Vote of Confidence
This amendment has provided an opportunity to a non-elected President to become an elected President and to hold office of President of Pakistan for next five years. Through this amendment, an electoral college, which consisted of both houses of Parliament and all Provincial Assemblies, was created and then non-elected President was to win vote of confidence of such electoral college to become elected President of Pakistan. In this way, this amendment had affected parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.
2. Legal Framework Order, (LFO) 2002
This amendment paved a way to incorporate Legal Framework Order of 2002 into constitution. As Legal Framework Order consisted of various orders of a non-elected and unconstitutional President, therefore this amendment allowed to incorporate non-constitutional orders into constitution of Pakistan. In this way, this amendment had affected parliamentary democracy.
3. Dissolution of National Assembly & A Provincial Assembly
This amendment had again empowered President of Pakistan to dissolve National Assembly. Even same power was also regained by Governor of every province to dissolve Provincial Assembly. In this way, this amendment had affected parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.
4. Annulment of Article 152-A
This amendment had annulled an important article of constitution: Article 152-A, which was about National Security Council, was omitted. In this way, this amendment had affected parliamentary democracy in Pakistan.
To conclude, it can be stated that there emerged an apprehension of political conflict between British Parliament and British king/queen after constitutional development especially with Glorious Revolution. However, such apprehension vanished with the passage of time due to effective conventions and influential acts of Parliament. Similarly, Pakistan has experienced a king of political conflict between its President and Prime Minister. Thirteenth amendment and seventeenth amendment were consequences of such political conflict. However, some of recent amendments have made Prime Minister more powerful that President. These amendments have aimed to finish political conflict between these two constitutional heads.