How The Central Authority Works In Pakistan

Written by: Undisputed Legal Inc

This article will provide guidance on How The Central Authority Works In Pakistan. Although Pakistan’s legal system is thorough, foreign litigants sometimes wonder how to serve papers through the Central Authority. Due to this, it can be challenging to independently verify the proper service of your documents and navigate the legal system. If you want to ensure your documents are served correctly, and you can get the evidence you need, hiring a private process service agency like Undisputed Legal can be a good choice. They are familiar with the local laws and customs. We will ensure that your documents reach the appropriate authority with our experience serving papers worldwide. Trust is essential to us, and we will serve your papers carefully. Click here for How the Hague Convention Simplifies International Process Service.

We are responsible for ensuring that all documentation submitted by our Pakistani clientele is complete and accurate before submitting it to the Central Authority. Due to the high daily requests, all documentation must be precise and comprehensive. For service to be valid in court, it is necessary to follow the proper procedure for serving documents (formal or informal) and to fill out the paperwork accurately from the beginning. A private process service agency, such as Undisputed Legal, can be helpful. When you work with us, we guarantee that your papers meet all local and international standards. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

The Central Authority in Pakistan

The Ministry of Justice is a Pakistani cabinet-level Ministry that oversees the administration of justice and the execution of laws. An elected lawmaker and member of parliament is required to serve as the political head of the Ministry. This is the Minister for Law, Justice, and Human Rights. The Minister for Justice represents the government in matters of state law enforcement and the management of government judicial divisions. As the head of the ministry, the Law Secretary of Pakistan oversees daily operations. Click here for information on How To Identify A Good Process Service Agency

As the head of federal law enforcement, the Attorney General also represents the ministry in matters before the civilian Supreme Court and provides legal assistance to the Minister of Justice and the government. The Pakistani prime minister appoints and nominates cabinet members, including the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General. As of August 17th, 2023, Ahmed Irfan Aslam is the current head of the Ministry. Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.

The Ministry of Justice oversees all legislative activities, the administration of justice, and the country’s legal affairs. Its three divisions are the Legislative, Legal Affairs, and Justice Departments.  English or a certified English translation must accompany any documents to be served in Pakistan. English translations of all evidence are required for presentation in US courts. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

Process Servers in Pakistan

In Pakistan’s judicial system, process servers are vital. They are entrusted with the critical task of delivering court orders, subpoenas, and other notifications and legal papers to the individuals or entities engaged in a judicial process. Fair and equitable execution of judicial processes relies heavily on the work of process servers. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

Anyone above eighteen who has not yet served a criminal sentence may become a process server in Pakistan. Being a process server, however, calls for an air of severe professionalism and responsibility. A competent process server like those at Undisputed Legal knows the law, can keep their cool under fire, and has excellent communication skills. Click here for information on How To Overcome Language Barriers in Process Service 

In Pakistan, a process server’s primary function is to deliver court papers to the appropriate parties. Legal notifications such as subpoenas, complaints, and summonses must be delivered to their designated addresses. A proof of service, attesting to the actual delivery of legal papers to their designated recipients, is another requirement of the process server.

A proof of service, attesting to the actual delivery of legal papers to their designated recipients, is another requirement of the process server. The date and time of service, the name of the person or business that received the legal papers, and the process server’s signature are all required elements of this document. Dealing with parties who are hostile or unwilling is a significant obstacle for process service in Pakistan. Sometimes, when served with court papers, the parties concerned act aggressively or refuse to accept them. The ability to remain composed and professional under pressure is a prerequisite for our process servers here at Undisputed Legal.

Hague Service Convention in Pakistan

Pakistan joined the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters on 13th October 1988. As such, any service request should be directed to Pakistan’s Central Authority for the Hague Service Convention, along with two copies of the papers to be served and their translations. U.S. citizens who fill out the paperwork must be lawyers or court clerks. Pakistan does not raise any objections to service via postal channels in its Declarations and Reservations on the Hague Service Convention. 

The Pakistani government declared its opposition to serving judicial documents on individuals residing in Pakistan through the diplomatic and consular agents of the requesting states to fulfill Article 8 of the Convention. These individuals must not be nationals of the requesting states. However, as long as the legislation of the requesting state recognizes such service, it has no problem sending it via postal routes directly to the individuals involved (Article 10(a)) or through the judicial offices of Pakistan.

It is expressly stated that the judge may render judgment without a certificate of service or delivery as long as the document was sent using one of the methods specified in the Convention. At least six months need to have passed since the document was sent, which the judge in the case deems adequate.

Any manager or agent who, at the time of service, personally conducts such business within the limits of the court’s jurisdiction can be served with a summons in a suit involving a defendant who does not reside within those limits. This is by the CPC. Regardless of whether the defendant is a natural person, the CPC allows for serving summonses on defendants living beyond the court’s territorial jurisdiction via the court having jurisdiction over the defendant’s territory. If the defendant does not have an agent in Pakistan authorized to receive service, the process may be served against them by sending a letter to their residence via the postal service. 

A superior court of reciprocating territory declared as such from time to time by the federal government’s notification must have passed the decree for it to be enforced under Section 44-A CPC, reserved for procedures involving foreign court judgments. To execute the decree as if the court had passed it, a certified copy and a certificate from the Superior Court indicating the degree to which the order has been fulfilled or amended must be presented in a district Court.  

Civil procedure in Pakistan

Following the appellate hierarchical structure described in the CPC, Pakistan has its procedural rules that regulate all topics, including the initiation of a suit, evidence, discovery and inspection, appeals, revisions, and execution.  All civil lawsuits, except those explicitly or implicitly banned from their cognizance, are granted jurisdiction by the CPC to civil courts. Claims stemming from domestic arbitration-related disputes or violations of contracts are often launched in civil courts, which are the courts of first instance.

High Courts resolve issues involving contracts with government agencies by using their constitutional authority to examine administrative decisions via restricted judicial processes. Another function of the High Court is to hear appeals from decisions made by certain subordinate courts and tribunals. Regarding financial matters, the rules and restrictions imposed by specific legislation, the CPC, and the High Court Rules and Orders control the proceedings in Pakistan’s High Courts.

Within the bounds of the Law Reform Ordinance, a division bench of a High Court may hear an appeal from a single judge’s order. A petition for permission to appeal may be filed with the Supreme Court to challenge a decision made by a division bench. The Supreme Court Rules, 1980, govern all matters heard by the highest court in the country.

The submission of a plant and the necessary supporting papers is the initial step in initiating a civil claim in the appropriate court of first instance. Following the established protocol, notices must be sent to all defendants, giving them thirty days to respond in writing. Until the main case is decided, the court may award temporary relief if an interlocutory application is filed, and they don’t have to give notice. Following the submission of the written statement, the court will use the parties’ pleadings to formulate questions that need a resolution of facts and law. The next step is to document the plaintiff’s and defendant’s evidence. Once the evidence stage is over, the court will ask the parties to present oral arguments. After that, the court will announce its decision and decree.

Unless otherwise specified by a statute already in effect, a party may attend, apply, or act in or before any court under the CPC either directly or via a recognized agent or pleader. Alternatively, the defendant may be represented in person by an authorized pleader or by a pleader who is accompanied by someone capable of answering all of these questions. 

Any principal officer or director of the corporation who is competent to testify as to the facts of the case and who is duly authorized to do so by the articles of association and a resolution from the Board of Directors may sign and verify as the corporation’s representative any pleading in a suit brought by or against the corporation. Suppose no other agent is expressly permitted to represent a party who does not live within the territorial boundaries of the court’s jurisdiction. In that case, that party may be represented by individuals engaged in trade or commerce on their behalf. Appointments representing or appearing on behalf of foreign individuals or corporations need public notarization or legalization at the relevant Pakistani embassy abroad.

Notary Public in Pakistan

Getting various documents notarized and attested from Pakistan is sometimes necessary when the party’s country of residence’s government or private authority demands this. Documents can only be notarized by a licensed Notary Public in Pakistan. 

Documents can be authenticated through the process of a notary public attestation. The government appoints a notary public to assist in the deterrence of fraud. Notaries public are authorised to observe the execution of legal documents, confirm the identity of the signatories, and ensure that they were fully informed about the nature and extent of the transaction or document.

The party’s original documents, as well as the copies they wish to have notarized and apostilled, must be presented. Several official bodies can attest to documents in Pakistan. A government-appointed official who verifies and certifies documents is known as a notary public. A notary can attest to affidavits, powers of attorney, deeds, and contracts. Attestation of international diplomas, degrees, and certificates of professional and academic achievement is the responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Degrees and certificates awarded by Pakistani colleges and universities are officially recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). Certificates of marriage, birth, and character can all be attested by the Union Council.

A notary public can prepare and witness legal documents for use abroad and deal with any non-contentious legal issue. When a client signs a document, the notary will verify their identity, capacity, and authority. The notary will attach a notarial seal or certificate to the document once the notary is satisfied with the performance of their duties.

A notary public will verify the party’s identity as part of their stringent identity verification process. Parties should, therefore, carry their driver’s license or identity card. A document must be legalized before it can be used in a country that is not a party to the Hague Apostille Convention. Public records can be authenticated and legally recognizable in a foreign country using an apostille. Legalization may be necessary if the document is not intended for use in a country party to the Hague Convention. 

To have a Power of Attorney or Affidavit attested for Pakistani passport holders, they must first obtain the signatures of two Pakistani citizens on the document, and then they must personally visit the notary to affix their signature in the presence of the appropriate official. Parties must provide the original, valid Pakistani passport, Pakistani identity card, or valid visa, along with two copies of each and copies of the valid passports or identification cards of two witnesses. The documents must also include a photo of the executor or executors.

All pages of the Power of Attorney document must be signed by the executant(s) before a notary. Each page of the power of attorney must have the executant’s signature, and the notary must write down the executant’s valid German document or passport number. On the first page of the power of attorney or affidavit, they must also attest and stamp a passport-sized photo of the executant or executants. Every page of the Power of Attorney or Affidavit must also be signed and stamped by the Notary. Notarization of two witnesses’ signatures on the Power of Attorney or Affidavit is also required; the witnesses must be named and provided with a valid document or passport number.

Power of Attorney in Pakistan

The one who delegated decision-making or legal authority to another, narrowly or broadly, is a principal, donor, or grantor. A person with the authority to act on behalf of another (the principal) under a specific power of attorney is called an agent or attorney-in-fact. The legal power of an agent or attorney-in-fact to make decisions about the principal’s property, money, and other affairs can be narrow or broad, depending on the circumstances.  A power of attorney is a legal document that grants another person the authority to make decisions or take actions on behalf of another person.

A general power of attorney grants the agent broad authority to act on the principal’s behalf for a set period, typically during illness or absence. A limited power of attorney differs from a general power of attorney, granting the agent only certain statutory powers. An attorney-in-fact may only act as a decision-maker on behalf of the principal in certain limited circumstances under this form of power of attorney.

A person can revoke a power of attorney at any time if they are of sound mind. A notary public can attest to the revocation’s authenticity if the party submits a written document bearing their signature. Third parties (such as banks and legal agencies) and the authorized agent should receive it. A notary public is required to attest and verify power of attorney documents.

Ownership or possession of properties in Pakistan is held by most Pakistanis residing abroad, whether temporarily or permanently. As a result, it is understandably challenging for them to complete property transactions without constantly relocating between Pakistan and their country of residence.

NADRA launched the online Power of Attorney with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to assist Pakistanis living abroad. ‘The Power of Attorney Act 1882’ governs the authorized attorneys in Pakistan. Parties can create powers of attorney for specialists and have them registered with the appropriate registrar who keeps track of ownership records. Suppose a party loses the mental capacity to make decisions. In that case, a power of attorney (sometimes called a letter of attorney) may grant another person the legal authority to do so.

It is necessary to obtain stamp paper to make a Power of Attorney. The documents can be forwarded to the overseas individual (who will assume the principal role). The next step is for the principal to pick up the document at the Pakistani Embassy while they are abroad. The Embassy should then stamp the document after signing it. Parties must go to the Foreign Affairs office to have the document confirmed or attested.

To manage property or business affairs, it is necessary to draft a general power of attorney. A client can utilize a general power of attorney to sell real estate in a revised form. Parties must first draft an extraordinary power of attorney to testify in a tribunal or court. Power of attorney documents must be registered with the appropriate registrar. The Prime Minister of Pakistan introduced the digital power of attorney (PoA) concept on November 18th, 2021. Initially, it was only available to select Pakistani embassies and consulates. NADRA and the MoFA created a digital system that automatically issues Power of Attorney (PoA) documents to Pakistanis living abroad. 

After an applicant submits their information (including an email address), they can access the PoA Portal and create an account. The executor can submit the necessary documents to lodge a power of attorney once they have successfully signed up and authenticated (via OTP). A fingerprint form will be provided for the applicant to upload their biometric data. Both the application fee and the results of the biometric verification will be communicated to the applicants. To reach a final decision, the applicant will be interviewed online (via video chat) by the Mission’s Consular Officer.

Any additional pertinent documents, such as an affidavit, if applicable, should be uploaded by the applicant in the PoA system. Applicants who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States must first have their documents apostilled by the appropriate US government agency before they can physically visit the Consulate. Hiring a private process server, like those at Undisputed Legal, who is knowledgeable about Pakistani law and the Hague Service Convention, is recommended for proper legal documents service.

In today’s process service industry, earning your trust is the key to success, and we strive to do just that every day. To that end, we are committed to providing only faultless service. If you ever find yourself in need of legal documents served in Pakistan, be sure to remember Undisputed Legal. We are ready to guarantee that your papers can reach any location worldwide and are here to help you with any pressing legal matters.


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1 Article 10(b) of the Convention

2 According to the second paragraph of article 15 of the  Hague Serviceconvention

3 It is now announced, by Article 16, paragraph 3, of the Convention, that an application to set aside an ex parte judgment will not be considered if brought after the term of limitation specified by Pakistani law has expired.

4 The stipulation for the enforceability of such decisions is that they specify the payment of a certain amount of money, which cannot be used to pay taxes, fines, or penalties of any kind and does not encompass an arbitration ruling.

5 Parties may go to the relevant High Court to apply for recognition and execution of a foreign arbitration.

6 If the district court finds that the decree meets one of the conditions set forth in clauses of Section 13 CPC, it might refuse to implement the decree. 

7  If the right to claim is based on the same act or sequence of acts, and if the parties would face the same issue of law or fact if they launched separate lawsuits, they may instead file a joint suit under Order I, Rule 1 CPC.
This kind of case is often brought before the relevant High Court or the Supreme Court as a constitutional petition, a kind of public interest litigation.

8 Rules 19-22 of Order XXVI of the CPC lay out the specific steps that appointing a commission to examine witnesses, record evidence, or do both may be accomplished with the help of Pakistani high courts; these courts can also lend their expertise to foreign courts.

9 A copy of the individual’s or entity’s CNIC is required for each Power of Attorney or affidavit.

10A legal agency will charge you approximately PKR 10,000 to register your power of attorney. The official registration fee for a power of attorney in Pakistan is one percent of the total asset or property value, which does not cover it. Pakistani power of attorney documents must be printed on official stamp paper, which can cost anywhere from 500 to 5,000 Pakistani rupees.


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