NGO for better legislation on right to information
ISLAMABAD: A civil society organisation working for peace and development has urged the government to enact comprehensive laws on right to information to strengthen democratic institutions, combat corruption and ensure public accountability.
In a statement, the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI) said the existing Freedom of Information Ordinance (FOIO) 2002, Local Govt. Ordinance (LGO) 2001, Balochistan Freedom of Information Act 2005 and the Sindh Freedom of Information Act 2006 were inadequate.
The statement said despite commitment for enactment of right to information law in the Charter of Democracy, legislation on this issue has not been carried out.
It recalled the maiden speech of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on March 29, 2008 in the National Assembly, in which he stated: “A new freedom of information law would be brought to promote press freedom while the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) would be made a subsidiary of the information ministry and its law changed.”
“If we are serious about creating a culture in which information flows freely, we will have to establish independent federal and provincial information commissions, vesting them with powers to ensure that government departments disclose information proactively as well as make it available to citizens on demand,” the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative noted.