The Government of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa functions under the provisions of the Constitution of Pakistan (1973).
The Province has a Provincial Assembly with 124 elected members, constituent of 99 Regular seats, 22 seats reserved for Women and 3 seats for Non-Muslims. The Provincial Assembly elects the Chief Minister of the Province who forms a Cabinet of Ministers to look after various Departments. The Chief Minister is the Chief Executive of the Province. The Federal Government appoints a Governor as head of the Provincial Government.
The bureaucratic machinery of the province is headed by a Chief Secretary who coordinates and supervises functions of various Departments headed by Departmental Secretaries. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for the Planning & Development Department the incharge is the Additional Chief Secretary who reports to the Chief Secretary. All the Secretaries are assisted by Additional Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries, Section Officers and other staff. The Departments may have attached Departments and autonomous or semi-autonomous bodies to look after various functions.
Since the year 2001, the system of elected District Governments has been introduced. The Province is divided into 24 districts.
At district level a District Police Officer looks after the Law and Order and he reports to the Zilla Nazim. Each district has a Public Safety Commission which addresses public complaints against the Police. There is a Provincial Police Officer who is incharge of the Police system at the provincial level.
In 1901 NWFP was declared as a Chief Commissioner Province and thirty-one years later in 1932 its status was raised to the Governor Province. In 1937, the Government of India Act 1935 was enforced in NWFP and NWFP Legislative Assembly was formed. The first session of parliament was summoned on 12 March 1946 under the Chairmanship of Sardar Bahadur Khan while Nawabzada Allah Nawaz Khan was elected as Speaker and Lala Girdheri Lal as Deputy Speaker on 13 March 1946. The total number of members was 50. This Assembly was dissolved in 1951 and the number of members was increased from 50 to 58.
Old NWFP Assembly BuildingAfter the creation of Pakistan, the first Election in NWFP Legislative Council was held on 15 December 1951 and the session of the Assembly was summoned on 10 January 1952 for the oath taking ceremony. Nawabzada Allah Nawaz Khan was again elected as the unopposed Speaker and Khan Muhammad Farid Khan as Deputy Speaker on 10 July 1952. Following the declaration of one unit on 3 October 1955, the Country was divided into two provinces, West Pakistan and East Pakistan and the Legislative Assembly Building was declared as Peshawar High Court. After the dissolution of West Pakistan dissolution in 1970, the NWFP Provincial Assembly was restored. The legislative Assembly became a Provincial Assembly through a presidential order known as legal framework order 1970. After the restoration of the Provincial Assembly in 1970, General Elections were held for the NWFP Provincial Assembly on 17 December 1970. At that time the number of member’s seats in the Assembly was 43 out of which 2 seats were reserved for women and only one for minorities. The first session of the Assembly was summoned on 2 May 1972 in the hall of Pakistan Academy for Rural Development, University Town Peshawar. Mr. Muhammad Aslam Khan Khattak was elected as Speaker and Arbab Saifur Rehman Khan as Deputy Speaker on 2 May 1972.