Friday, May 05, 2017

Seminar calls for operationalising RTI act

Pakistan Today‎‎‎‎: Karanchi: Friday, May 05, 2017.
The Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) on Thursday organised a seminar titled ‘Operationalising Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act 2016’ at a local hotel in the metropolis.
Elected representatives, experts, civil society representatives and journalists attended the event.
The right to information (RTI) act serves as a check and balance tool and keeps the government on the edge to improve, said senior journalist and human rights activist Zubida Mustafa, while addressing the seminar.
Zubida said, “It is now time to implement a progressive and an effective Right to Information Act 2016 not only at the federal but also at the provincial level”.
She further said that after the KP and Punjab governments passed their respective and internationally acclaimed right to information laws and established their independent Information Commissions in 2013, it was natural to expect such commissions from the Sindh and Balochistan governments, and the federation to replace their restrictive freedom of information laws.
On the occasion, Sindh MPA Mehfooz Yar Khan said that in September 2016, the Sindh Cabinet approved the draft of the “Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Bill 2016” which is currently under consideration by a committee for further consideration. Khan said that he and his party MQM-P will ensure that the Sindh government takes immediate steps to operationalise the law.
CPDI Programme Manager Zahid Abdullah, while addressing the seminar, said that although the two provinces and the federation had repeatedly expressed their intention to introduce a new right to information laws in their respective domains, but the action on this had been extremely slow.
Pakistan is moving towards a more transparent and democratic system which aimed at ensuring that public money does not fall prey to misuse and corruption, Abdullah concluded.