Pakistan should be proud to have very good RTI law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab -
Pakistan Press Foundation

Pakistan should be proud to have very good RTI law in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Punjab

Pakistan Press Foundation

Pakistan should be proud to have very good RTI laws in KP and Punjab provinces and there is need to raise awareness among people on how to use it effectively.  This stated Marcel Haessler, Team Leader, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) at the multi stakeholders consultation target 16.10.2 of Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) dealing with right to information.

The consultation, hosted by Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in collaboration of Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) and GIZ, discussed in details various aspects of preparing shadow report by civil society organisations.

Speaking at the meeting Toby Mendel, Executive Director, Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD), stated that “Pakistan is one of the VNR country we want to take it on board Pakistan must have parallel event to focus on SGD16.10.2.  The objective of the meeting was to discuss the preparation shadow report on SGD 16.10.2 with collaboration interested civil society organisations.

PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali said RTI is about making citizens informed and promoting transparency and accountability in country. He said there was a need for journalists to use RTI mechanism more as media were key stakeholders to ensure effective implementation RTI laws.

The meeting discussed three separate methodologies for developing VNR namely those developed by FOIANET, UNESCO and Pakistan methodologies for evaluating current status 16.10.2. Mandel said Pakistan was the most sophisticated and comprehensive methodology.  He added Pakistan was the only state where all three methodologies were being used. He said has good RTI laws at the federal and provincial level and what was important was the implementation of these laws.

The objective of the meeting was to mobilize civil society actors who were interested in producing a shadow report on SDG 16.10.2 using the FOIA methodology. The meeting agreed on the need to welcome new perspectives from stakeholders and to Increase cooperation & collaboration between relevant actors to avoid duplication while producing the report.  The meeting also discussed need for advocacy actions to promote the report,

Those who participated in the meeting included Maliha Shah, National Project Officer, UNESCO; Toby Mendel, Executive Director, CLD; Marcel Haessler, Team Leader, Support to Local Governance, GIZ; Muhammad Aftab Alam, Executive Director, Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA); Waqas Naeem, Program Manager at Media Matters for Democracy; Umer Cheema, Co-founder, Center for Investigative Reporting; and Owais Aslam Ali, General Secretary, PPF.