The Constitution is a body of precedents governing the affairs of states. It protects citizens’ rights and enforces the duties of the state’s citizens. After the independence of India and Pakistan, both states made their own constitutions, but the heritage of law in both countries is the same. China, on the other hand, gained independence in 1949 and established its own legal system based on the Confucian philosophy of social control. The duties of a citizen in Pakistan are mostly the same as in India and China, such as the right to education; according to Article 25, the Pakistani state is bound to provide free education from age 5 to 16. On the other hand, in China, according to Article 19, the state provides better and compulsory primary education to every citizen of its state. There are many other duties of a state and its citizens, which are mentioned below.
Comparison between India, Pakistan, and China in constitutional aspects
In the comparison of these state constitutions, there are many key differences, which are as follows:
Preamble: The Preamble of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan begins with the name “Allah the Almighty.” It refers to the founder of Pakistan, Quad-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah. It promises adequate measures to protect the legitimate interests of minorities. It also promises to protect the independence of the judiciary.
The Preamble of the Indian Constitution is more compact. It talks about things like minority rights and the independence of the judiciary, but in a clear way.
People have power in China, and there are people who manage state affairs economically and socially in accordance with the law.
The Constitution of Pakistan recognises the right to privacy. The Supreme Court of India recently declared it to be a fundamental right.
The Constitution of Pakistan also recognises the right to education for children between the ages of 5 and 16. The Education Act of 2009 guarantees education for children between the ages of 6 and 14. In China, education is compulsory at the primary level, and the government ensures it in accordance with the law.
The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees the right to information and declares human dignity inevitable.In this regard, India passed the Right to Information Act in 2005.China does not expressly mention the right to information, but it does guarantee the right to free expression.
Aside from the differences, a citizen has many responsibilities to the state, including:
i) Citizens’ fundamental responsibilities
Pakistan’s constitution is lengthy, but it fails to address a citizen’s fundamental responsibilities to the state, which is the failure of Pakistan’s legislators. Pakistan must seek advice from its neighbour on laws and citizen duties, such as those outlined in the Indian Constitution’s Article 51-A and the 86th Amendment Act of 2002. The duties include the following:
- duty to uphold the constitution and its ideals and institutions, as well as the national flag and anthem
- Uphold the integrity, sovereignty, and unity of India.
- Safeguard public property and abjure violence.
Chinese citizens have the same duties as Indian citizens, such as
- Article 53 states that a citizen must obey the law of the land, keep the country secret, and save and protect public property.
- According to Article 54, a citizen must uphold the integrity ,honor and interests of the motherland.
Fundamental duties (responsibilities) as a state
It is a fundamental duty of the state to protect the rights of all citizens of society, regardless of gender, race, creed, or religion. There are the following fundamental duties regarding their respective constitutions: A state must ensure
i) The right to education
Every citizen of a state has the fundamental right to an education. In Pakistan, according to Article 25, every citizen has the right to free education. A state is responsible for providing free and compulsory education from age 5 to 16. In China, Article 46 gives the right to a free and good education. In India, it is the parent’s responsibility to ensure their children’s education from the age of six to fourteen.
ii) Establish a better economy and social security
It is the duty of the state to establish a better economy. Every country’s economy is like its lungs. Without proper functioning of the lungs, a human body cannot breathe or survive properly.
A better economy is directly related to social security; if the state ensures the right to individual protection and provides a good and safe environment for state industrialists and foreign investors, the state’s economy will progress on a positive path.
iii) Electoral rights and equality
According to Article 34 of the Chinese Constitution, every Chinese citizen over the age of 18 has the right to vote and stand in an election regardless of nationality, race, gender, or religious belief. whereas in Pakistan, a citizen must be at least 18 years old to cast a vote of his or her choice; he or she can also stand in an election, but as the head of a Muslim state, he or she must be a Muslim and follow the practise of Islam according to On the other hand, in India, all the rights are the same, and to become the head of state, it is not necessary to be a Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, etc.
iv) Keep abiding by international law and treaties.
Every state has a fundamental and moral obligation toward another state to uphold international law and the promises and treaties signed between them. For example, the Indus Water Treaty of 1960 was signed between India and Pakistan regarding the usage of water. As neighbors, both states must maintain peace and foster good relations for the benefit of their people. An eruption on the Line of Control (LOC) between India and Pakistan, and possibly between China and India, must be stopped.
Election system and duties of the election commission
- Elections in China are held under a single-party political system. China is among the few contemporary party-led socialist governmental systems to not hold any direct elections at the national level.
- The election system in Pakistan and India is almost the same, but in Pakistan the Muslim candidates have to be of good character, wise, righteous, honest, and non-profligate. They should have adequate knowledge of Islam and not have committed any major sins.
- In India, the qualifications and rules for eligibility have more to do with the law than with religion.
The duties of the election commission in India and Pakistan are the same, such as ensuring that no dispute happens at polling sites, providing fairness, and not rigging elections. Facilitate and protect the citizens’ rights to vote and stand in elections independently.
protection of property rights
It is the responsibility of the state to protect the property rights vested in the citizens of the state. According to Article 24 of the Pakistani Constitution, no one shall be deprived of his right to property unless the property is used for public or government interest, in which case the government pays the dues or does what is best according to law. Articles 12 and 13 of the Chinese constitution make sure the rights of its citizens are protected, and if any property is used for public or government interest, it will be compensated according to law. In India, two articles, 31 and 19(1)(f), guarantee the individual’s fundamental property rights to the state.
Following all of the above-mentioned lengthy discussions, we concluded that the duties of a state and its citizens are critical to maintaining peace among states and progress in all areas of life. Every country has its own set of rules, regulations, and laws, but the rights to an education, to property, and to freedom of speech are universal. The right to vote is the standard right of every citizen of a democratic country. Each state must follow international law and uphold the treaties signed between them.
Authored by Yasir Gill, Legal Intern, LawDiktat
Edited by Sahid, Team Member, LawDiktat.