Easy access to information urged -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Easy access to information urged

By: Farehia Rehman

ISLAMABAD — Realising the fact that Pakistan’s 2002 Freedom of Information Ordinance is quoted world over as an example of a bad law, participants on Friday during a consultation meeting on “Article-19-A: roadmap for Implementation of Right to Information” stressed for introducing proper system for ensuring easy access to information.

The even was organised by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) in collaboration with Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). Qamar Zaman Kaira was the chief guest at the occasion.

Participant on the occasion shared that we should appreciate the legislators for the 18th Amendment. They also discussed that the authorities concerned must establish special commission for ensuring easy access to information.

Some participants opined that access to information ensured through launching special websites. Bangaladesh followed in 2009. Pakistan’s 2002 FOI ordinance is quoted world over as an example of a bad law. It had been copied by Sindh and Balochistan.

While speaking at the occasion Qamar Zaman Kaira said that just introducing laws is not solution of problems, there is also need to debate on the issues and evolve effective strategy for resolving these issues.

The Minister said, “We just planted a small tree by passing 18th Amendment,” further adding, “We gave right to information on our own will by passing 18th amendment.”

Replaying to a question the Minister said that political parties take credit because they have to fulfil their promises as stated in their manifestos. He said, “We do not have just the information issue, we have so many other issues including loadshedding, price hike and poverty.”

Earlier in his welcome note Zahid Abduallah from CPDI talked about aims and objectives of the consultation. Farhat Nawaz Advocate Supreme Court discussed about 19-A challenges and opportunities. Muhammad Azam, Director General, Internal Publicity, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting highlighted govt initiatives for implementation of right to information. Shaigan Sharif Malik Imtiaz Gul from CRSS, Islamabad and Senator Haji M Adeel also addressed at the occasion.
Source: The Nation
Date:7/17/2010