Freedom of information workshop concludes
Karachi: On the concluding day of the Pakistan’s Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 workshop, organised by the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), New Delhi, Shehri-CBE- and the Liberal Forum Pakistan, the speakers stressed the need for an effective and valuable act of information.
During the session on Saturday, Abrar Hafeez, Secretary General from the Consumer Rights of Commission of Pakistan (CRCP), talked about the implementation experience of the ordinance, and said “the purpose of drafting applications should be mentioned as in the public interest. Also, the applicant should ask a learned person to guide him on how to draft a Freedom of Information application.”
Talking about the costs, Hafeez said that the cost for application is higher than the required Challan fees of Rs50. He said that if an individual is applying alone, then the cost is less, but if the person applying belongs to an organisation the cost is much higher. Stating a case study he said that once he was unable to get information from the government department, but his applications to the Ombudsman were successful.
Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, from Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives on the other hand stated that information is available to the masses, and government has made it accessible in the form of budgets, laws, annual reports, manuals and others, but more information should be available and records should be made public.
Source: The News