CGPA urges Centre to extend KP RTI Act to PATA

Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) demands the President of Pakistan and Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province to extend Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information (RTI) Act 2013 to Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA).

The KP RTI Law was enacted on October 31, 2013. More than eight months have been lapsed since its enactment, while the whole PATA is still waiting to be benefited from the law.

Muhammad Anwar, Executive Director CGPA, stated that the law empowers citizens to access information held by provincial public bodies. However, it is a blatant discrimination that huge part of the province is not yet provided with the right to access information. Not allowing extension of RTI Law to PATA is tantamount to violation of basic constitutional right of people of PATA. Article 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan provides for citizens' right to access information held by public bodies, and this right of citizens of PATA is being violated by not extending RTI law to PATA, according to a press release issued here on Friday.

Anwar further added that peace and stability in tribal areas can't be guaranteed without basic governance reforms. PATA has been through difficult times due to militancy, and it was expected that our parliamentarians would make necessary amendments in the constitution to strengthen representation of people of tribal areas. Article 247 of constitution of Pakistan debars such representation by not allowing direct enforcement of laws in tribal areas, until and unless notified by the President. He demanded parliamentarians to amend Article 247, so all federal and provincial laws are directly enforceable in tribal areas.