What Is Land and Property Laws in Pakistan? A Guide for All

land and property laws

The Constitution of Pakistan comes up with some definitions of land and property laws. Here in this article, we shall guide you about different laws regarding property.

Table of contents

  1. What is land? A definition
  2. Who can own land in Pakistan?
  3. What is the land record?
  4. How are property rights transferred?
  5. When and how can the state acquire land?

Property laws define the ownership of a person about the property. Several properties exist on earth, and without defining ownership, it will cause chaos. Moreover, over time, people came to know about the importance of property and its value.

Similarly, we define it as “the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members. And which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.”

What Is Land? A Definition

The land is an immovable property. Moreover, we use both the terms land and property interchangeably. Similarly, Pakistan’s law defines land’s rules and regulations, and the property one owns. Further, a simple definition about the immovable property is as under;

“Immovable property includes land, buildings, benefits to arise out of land and things attached to the earth. And permanently fastened to anything attached to the earth.”

Whereas movable property is different, and we also define it differently.

“Movable property means property of every description except immovable property. in this regard, the standing timber, growing crops or grass, fruit upon the trees is movable property.”

Who Can Own Land in Pakistan?

Land or property is a provincial subject in Pakistan. Similarly, the provinces have designed laws about the ownership of property. Moreover, everyone can own property, including foreigners, if they fulfill the laws’ requirements.

In this regard, article 23 of the constitution declares that;

“Every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold, and dispose of the property in part of Pakistan.”

Moreover, according to article 172 of the constitution;

“Any property which has no rightful owner shall if located in the province, vest in the Government of that province. And in every other case, in the Federal Government.”

What Is the Land Record?

land record

Land record means register of land. Moreover, it talks about the Record of Rights (RoRs). Similarly, it tells us about the boundaries of the ownership of how the property looks like. Also, the land record is necessary for identifying taxation and other legal matters. The land record helps us to find that how much land a person owns in the village. 

Furthermore, according to UN-Habitat;

“Keeping in view these details, a comprehensive Record of Rights (Misal-e-Haqiat) is prepared after carrying out proper settlement operation of the land after every 25 years. And later Jamabandi (prepared after every four years). And the register of Mutations (Intaqalaat) is prepared.”

How Are Property Rights Transferred?


Transfer of Property Act 1882 says, 

“sale is a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or promised.”

Similarly, property transfer is one of the fundamental rights of every citizen in Pakistan. Moreover, the law says,

“Every lawful owner has a right to sell, transfer, gift, mortgage, etc., his/her rights. Such rights are considered part or incidence of ownership. Transfer of property rights also occurs on devolution of inheritance in addition to the sale, gift, etc.”

The laws in transfer procedures are as under;

  1. “Land Revenue Act 1967. The law is provincial and adopted by all the provinces with minor changes. This is the primary law dealing with the records of rights. And transfers through Mutations as detailed later;
  2. General law describing and regulating the transfers of interests in property (sale, lease, mortgage, etc.) is Transfer of Property Act 1882;
  3. The Registration Act, 1908. That details the registration of the documents process and procedures. The law is applicable on registration, including registration of transfer/sales deeds; and 
  4. Local and special laws, i.e., laws made by the private housing societies, cooperative, mutual societies. Cantonment Boards etc.”

When and How Can the State Acquire Land?

The state of Pakistan can acquire the land from any part of the country. On the other hand, it comes with some restrictions and specifications also. In this regard, constitution article 23 of 1973 is very much clear to reads, 

“Every citizen shall have the right to acquire, hold and dispose of the property in any part of Pakistan subject to the constitution. And any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the public interest.”

Lastly, according to article 24 of the constitution, other than law, no person can deprive the property.

To conclude, we can say that Pakistan’s constitution provides all the rights to hold property. Moreover, the government also keeps a record of the land. Finally, according to the constitution, the government can acquire the land also when required.

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