Right to information: Bill to be presented in Sindh Assembly
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has welcomed the draft of the Right to Information bill that was presented to him by a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE). He assured the delegation that the draft would be presented in the Sindh Assembly for approval very soon. The CPNE delegation was led by its president Mujeebur Rehman Shami.
The chief minister said that the CPNE will be consulted if the government felt any need for amendments in the draft. He emphasised the need for active contacts with the CPNE and appreciated its role for the creation of free and responsible media. He said that the Sindh government firmly believes in the right to information, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and all other basic human rights. He announced a grant of Rs20m for CPNE Endowment Fund.
CPNE president Shami said that it was the right of every citizen of Pakistan to be able to access the desired information about the government affairs. He said that the provision of this right by the government and state organisations will strengthen transparency and accountability in all public and state affairs, which will bring about improvement in governance.
Shami said that the CPNE was striving for freedom of the media and for the promotion of access to news and information. He went on to say that the council was running a campaign to create awareness among the editors, senior journalists and youth about the constitutional right of access to information. He said that a draft of a bill for right of access to information has been prepared with the help of organisations active for human rights in Sindh. The aim is to have a bill passed by the Sindh assembly and get the legislation done.
The government delegation included provincial ministers Dr Sikandar Mandhro and Syed Murad Ali Shah, CM’s advisor for information Maula Bukhsh Chandio and several members of the provincial assembly from Pakistan Peoples Party.
Later, the chief minister hosted a dinner in honour of the CPNE delegation.