The president of Pakistan , is the ceremonial head of state of Pakistan and the Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Armed Forces. The post was created when Pakistan became a republic on 23 March 1956. Until 1956, Pakistan was a dominion within the Commonwealth of Nations with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and Queen of Pakistan.
The President is kept informed by the Prime minister of Pakistan on all matters of internal and foreign policy, as well as all legislative proposals. The Constitution vests the President with the powers of granting pardons, reprieves, and the control of the military; however, all appointments at higher commands of the military must be made by the President on a “required and necessary” basis, upon consultation and approval from the Prime minister. In addition, the Constitution prohibits the president from exercising the authority of running the government.
The President of Pakistan is indirectly elected by the Electoral College for a five-year term. The Constitution requires the president to be a “Muslim of not less than forty-five (45) years of age”. The President resides in an estate in Islamabad known as Aiwan-e-Sadar (Presidential Palace). In the absence of the President, the Chairman of the Senate exercises the responsibilities of the post, until the actual President resumes office, or the next officeholder is elected.
There have been a total of 13 people who have held the office of President. The first one was Iskander Ali Mirza, who entered office on 23 March 1956 after the post was created when Pakistan became an Islamic Republic. The current officeholder is Arif Alvi, who took charge on 9 September 2018, following his victory in the 2018 Presidential elections.
Dr. Arif Alvi was sworn in as the 13th President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 9th September 2018. Dr. Arif Alvi was born in 1949 and completed his early education in Karachi. He did his Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) from De’ Montmorency College of Dentistry, Lahore where he was declared the “Best Graduate”. He completed his Masters of Science in the field of Prosthodontics from University of Michigan (1975) and in Orthodontics from University of Pacific, San Francisco (1982). He was awarded fellowship ‘Diplomatic American Board of Orthodontists (1995)’.
President Dr. Arif Alvi has been a renowned professional and has held many important positions in the field of Dentistry. He remained Dean of Orthodontics, College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan, President, Pakistan Dental Association (1997-2001), Pakistan Association of Orthodontists (2005), Asia Pacific Dental Federation (2006-07) and Councilor of the World Dental Federation (2007-2013). Through his sheer hard work in the World Dental Federation, he was able to get the declaration of 20th March as World Oral Health Day. He is also an author of a book, theses, and many articles.
Dr. Arif Alvi’s political career commenced with his pro-democracy struggle against the dictatorship of General Ayub Khan. He is a founding member of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that came into being in 1996. He remained a member of the PTI’s Central Executive Committee since its inception and has held the offices of PTI President of Sindh (1997-2001), Central Vice President (2001-2006) and Secretary General (2006-2013). In line with Constitution of Pakistan, he resigned from all the positions of PTI before assuming the prestigious office of the President.
During his tenure as the Secretary General of the party, Dr. Arif Alvi introduced social media platform in the politics of Pakistan. He was instrumental in holding intra-party election (2012-2013) and enabled millions of party members to digitally participate in the election process. He was elected as member of National Assembly from Karachi in 2013 and 2018 and was instrumental in drafting and the passage of many bills including one on Alternate Dispute Resolution. He also chaired the sub-committee of EVM’s, Digital Identification of voters and voting of overseas Pakistanis. The latter has finally come to fruition. Dr. Arif Alvi has keen interest in education and health sectors. Provision of basic facilities to the common man and uplifting the country’s image are very close to his heart. He considers people of Pakistan as the most precious asset and, therefore, accords special focus to human resource development in the country. He is happily married and has four children.