Lawyers urge legislation on right to information

Peshawar: The lawyers' community has called for early legislation and implementation of Right to Information (RTI) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has vowed to kick off a campaign to take along all the stake-holders and the upcoming assembly members for it.

About thirty members of Peshawar Bar Association discussed after discussing the draft of 'Model Right to Information Act for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa organized by centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA) agreed to initiate a holistic campaign for RTI provided under Article I9-A of constitution of Pakistan.

The draft model RTI Act calls for an independent information commission, which will have the powers to decide on denial of information request by any department.

The consultative body also agreed on limited list 61 exclusion and protection or whistle blowers and deliberated that though Article 19- A of Constitution of Pakistan provides for right to information as fundamental right, no serious efforts had been made to enact such laws in KP.

The participant also reiterated that delay in enactment of such laws tantamount to violation of the basic constitutional rights.

Azra Nafees Yousafzai apprised the participants of the global context, history of freedom of information related legislation in Pakistan and need for such legislation.

She said that the draft model RTI Act would be published and will be shared with all members of new members of KP provincial assembly to be elected in May 2013 general election.