RTI alliance launched
Islamabad: To conduct research on current situation of Right to Information (RTI) and to create awareness on RTI law, civil society organisations working on RTI has launched Pakistan Alliance on Right to Information (PA-RTI).
Under this alliance, awareness activities, policy seminars and a national level briefing of Federal Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on ‘Vision of New Government for Transparency & Right to Information’ were organsed by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) and Centre for Inclusive Governance (CIG) in collaboration with other partners of Pakistan Alliance on Right to Information.
The alliance members included civil society organisations, academic institutions and activists of Right to Information across Pakistan. Pakistan Alliance on Right to Information (PA-RTI) will organize research on current situation of Right to Information, massive awareness campaigns through local partners and inclusion of young students from academic institutions to engage them in the social accountability campaign at massive level.
As a first step SSDO and CIG included ten civil society organizations in total to launch a weeklong celebration through awareness of Right to Information in over 50 districts of Pakistan. The Alliance members includes Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO), Centre for Inclusive Governance (CIG), Youth Advocacy Network (YAN), IUCPSS, BRIDGES, Potohar Mental Health Association (PMHA), Foundation for Advocacy and Civic Education (FACE), Equality for All Development Organization (EFA), Centre for Policing and Security (CPS).
These members have organised awareness and advocacy activities in over 50 districts of Pakistan to create awareness about Right to Information on the occasion of International Right to Know Day 2018.
The Right to Information Week was celebrated for 5 days starting from September 25 to September 29, 2018 and the activities will be organized across Pakistan. The campaign is launched with the title Maloomat Hamara Haq across Pakistan. A briefing session of Federal Minister for Information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain with the title of Vision of New Government for Transparency & Right to Information was organized in Islamabad. The federal minister announced that Right to Information is the major milestone of government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf that will be brought to ensure peoples’ participation in the governance process.
He said that Right to Information is the key for accountability and the federal government will notify federal Right to Information Commission within one week. He further said that the public offices are run with the tax payer’s money and its fundamental right of citizens to question the performance of public offices.
Syed Kausar Abbas, Director of Sustainable Social Development Organisation (SSDO) said that SSDO in collaboration with other civil society organizations has launched a massive campaign to educate the people about the process of questioning the government by using Right to Information laws in Pakistan. He said that the effective Right to Information laws can improve the service delivery of the public offices. He also pointed out that most of the public offices does not have the functional websites and urged the government to strengthen the process of sharing information through websites of the government offices. Pakistan Alliance on Right to Information (PA-RTI) also raised a demand to Federal Government to notify Pakistan Information Commission, Punjab Government to allocate resources to Punjab Information Commission, Sindh Government to notify Sindh Information Commission and Balochistan Government to make legislation on Right to Information and notify Balochistan Information Commission.