Balochistan Government Pledges to Table RTI Bill in Assembly in 2 Months

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Quetta: Balochistan government pledged to table the Right to Information (RTI) bill in assembly within 2 months.
This announcement was made by Sardar Raza Barech, Advisor to Chief Minister (CM) Balochistan on Information in a round table consultation held on RTI in a local hotel, on Tuesday.
Sardar Raza Barch addressing the program
Sardar Raza Barch addressing the program
Consultation was organized by Center for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI).
Read also: The Need to Repeal Balochistan Freedom of Information Act 2005
Sardar Barech told the participants of the seminar that government is planning to repeal the Balochistan Freedom of Information Act 2005 and table a new bill because there are way too many flaws in it. “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013 and the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act 2013 are being used as models by Balochistan government to draft its new RTI bill,” said Mr. Barech.

Government is planning to repeal the Balochistan Freedom of Information Act 2005 and table a new bill because there are way too many flaws in it – Sardar Raza Barech

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act 2013 was enacted as a part of governance reform agenda of PTI government which has been effective and citizens are using it to get their rights in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Mr. Azmat Haneef Orakzai Chief Information Commissioner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission.
Mr. Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, Information Commissioner, Punjab Information Commission analyzed Balochistan Freedom of Information Act 2005 and said that it did not meet standards of effective right to information Legislation.
He further said that Right to Information is a basic cardinal of good governance and secrecy is meant to curtail transparency.
Shoukat Tareen, Additional Secretary Law, Government of Balochistan, informed the participants about the current status of draft of RTI bill of Balochistan.

Right to Information is a basic cardinal of good governance and secrecy is meant to curtail transparency – Mukhtar Ahmed Ali

Mr. Amer Ejaz, Executive Director CPDI informed the participants that Punjab Assembly shares attendance record of MPAs on its web site after filing of information requests by civil society. He urged Balochistan government to share the draft of the information law with the public for comments.
Others who spoke at the occasion included Zammaruk Khan Achakzai MPA, Mr. Mazhar Hussain Minhas Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab Information Commission and Mr. Abdul Matin, Information Commissioner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission.
Zahid Abdullah, Program Manager of CPDI moderated the roundtable discussion.
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