October 21, 2020

IDUAI 2020: Pakistan Information Commissioners Urge Citizens To Use RTI Law

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Islamabad — Citizens should consider it their responsibility to use the Right to Information (RTI) law to stay informed, commissioners of the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) have said.

Commissioners Zahid Abdullah and Fawad Malik shared brief video messages ahead of the International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) on September 28. The PIC is an official body that facilitates the implementation of the federal Right of Access to Information Act 2017.

“The right of access to information is not only a basic human right for citizens, I think it is also their responsibility (to exercise it),” Zahid Abdullah said.

He said the IDUAI is commemorated each year to raise awareness among citizens that they can keep themselves informed about their government’s performance.

“Governments provide services by utilising the taxes paid by citizens,” Zahid Abdullah said. “So citizens have this constitutional right that they can seek the information (about service delivery) from government institutions and hold them accountable.”

Fawad Malik said the Article 19-A of Pakistan’s constitution, which guarantees the right of access to information for citizens, is going to play an important role in the future.

“The right to information is known as (the) key to all information,” Fawad Malik said. “In order to demand your rights, including civil rights, you may need to access information and public documents which you can seek by using this (RTI) law.”

As responsible citizens we must consider it our duty to access information, he said.

For more resources on how you may use the RTI laws in the federal capital or other Pakistani provinces, please visit the CPDI website or the resources section of Media for Transparency.

Written by

Waqas Naeem is a program manager at Media Matters for Democracy, which runs the Digital Rights Monitor website.

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