KP Govt. established RTI Commission, now marginalize it: Chief KP-RTI

By: S.K. Sami

PESHAWAR: Chief Commissioner, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Commission, Mrs. Farah Hamid Khan at a function regarding the international day for Universal Access to Information arranged by KP-RTI Commission with Collaboration of Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar said that the Led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government in its previous tenure had passed the Right to Information Act, and the commission had been established for the implementation of the Law to know. But unfortunately the commission is dysfunctional by missing the essential quorum to take action according to Act. as two commissioner positions are lying vacant. Mrs. Farah Said that she is committed in ensuring transparency in all spheres of governance by facilitating citizens’ access to information. The Chief told that provincial assembly will be approached for strengthening the Commission for good governance and meritocracy in the province.
While speaking at the occasion, Farah Hamid Khan mentioned that according to international ranking the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Law stands one of the best laws for good governance and transparency. She furthered that about 164 Public Information Officers have been designated as one in each department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to supply the requested information to the citizens. 93 percent applicants have received their desired information about the government departments and bodies while 20 public bodies have fined yet for denying provision of required data to the citizens.
The former Chief Commissioner, KP-RTI Azmat Hanif Ourakzai also spoke to the gathering who said that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in previous tenure as coalition government with some other political parties urged to bring a reform agenda for change in the province. Ourakzai added that many other Laws were part of that agenda but Right to Information Act, 2013 was the first and Khyber Pakhunkhwa is pioneer that had passed this Act. He said that if the Right to Information law implemented in true sense and spirit so good governance and transparency can thoroughly be ensured in the province. Azmat Hanif added that the bureaucracy system in Pakistan is inherited from the British colonial system which does not encourage sharing information. Therefore such laws find hurdles in ways of implementation. He told that still the people of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in general and the newly Merged Districts in particularly unaware about their rights to know. The government should release sufficient funds to the commission for launching awareness campaigns via various effective means, he suggested.

The first Chief Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid was the chief guest of the event while officials form department of Information & Public Relation, parliamentarians and persons from social sectors also participated the function.

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