Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002

ISLAMABAD -The parliamentarians from the opposition parties have demanded of the government to amend Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 as it contains many flaws.

The opposition expressed its concern during an open debate on “Freedom of Information in Pakistan” organised by the “Consumers Right Commission of Pakistan”(CRCP) here on Thursday. Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Sanaullah Baloch, Jamila Ahmad, MNA and Senator Shezad Wasim were among the prominent participants.

Senator Farhatullah Babar from PPPP, said that freedom of information ordinance 2002 had number of flaws which need to be amended and stressed to mention the reasons under which some information was not being publicised by the government.

Commenting on the Sherry Rehman bill, he said due to some basic defects in the freedom of information ordinance 2002, the new bill was moved for amendment, and added that the basic weakness of the ordinance was not applicable in the provinces, while there was an urgent need of freedom of information everywhere in the country.

He said that freedom of information and expression were among the basic rights of citizens but it were rarely seen in the developing countries Senator Sanaullah Baloch from Balochistan National Party, said that according to the 1973 constitution, a citizen can get any information from any government office but it was not exhibited in our practical life.

Quoting the Gawadar land allotment he said the government has allotted the thousand acre land among the people, but even a Tehsildar of the area was reluctant to provide the detail information regarding it. He stressed to have an open debate and discussion on all the public concerns and publicising them.

Jamila Ahmed MNA, criticised the current situation of information and said that even being a member of the supreme legislative body of state, she could not be able to get an information from a public office in her continuous three times attempts.

Senator Shahzad Wasim from ruling Muslim league, said being a military dictator president Musharraf had done his best in making free expression and open information, and added that those who were interested to move any bill for implementation should be basis on facts and fully reasonable.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:7/23/2004