Property Rights in Pakistan

This law may be applicable to those who are seeking an equal right to property in Pakistan. The Article 23 within the Constitution of Pakistan defines what this right entails and means for individuals. Article 24 then goes onto expand on the right to property.

  • Article 23 of the Constitution of Pakistan does not differentiate between men and women when it comes to possession of property and it gives its citizens the “right to acquire, hold and dispose of property in any part of Pakistan”.
  • Article 24 talks about the protection of property rights and clarifies that “no person shall be compulsorily deprived of his property save in accordance with law”.

Other laws which pertain to property rights in the country include:

Married Women’s Property Act, 1874

Under the Married Women’s Property Act, 1874, a married woman has the right to separate property and to take legal proceedings in her own name. A married woman is also liable for her contracts regarding her property.

Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939

Under the Dissolution of Muslim Marriages Act, 1939, a wife is entitled to all the property that she has earned for herself and also to the benefits deriving from the property of the husband. If dissolution of marriage is demanded by the wife (Khula), she is not entitled to any dower. On dissolution of marriage, husband has no right to the property of his wife.

Muslim Family Laws Ordinance, 1961 and Muslim Personal Law Shariat Application Act, 1962

These provide for inheritance of property (including agricultural) in accordance with pre­defined share according to the Quran.

Islamic Inheritance Laws and Property Rights for Women

In the table below, X refers to “all wealth of the deceased person after settlement of mortgages and loans.”

Individual Women Inheritance Right
As Mother 1/6th of X
As Wife
  • 1/8th of X
  • 1/4th of X
As Daughter
  • 1/2 of brother’s share, if she has brothers
  • Women who have sisters:
    • Sunni/Hanafi School: 2/3rd of X divided equally
    • Shia: Total inheritance divided equally
  • Women without siblings:
    • Sunni/Hanafi: 1/2 of X
    • Shia: All property (X)
Source: This table was adapted from http://www.paycheck.pk