QUETTA: Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) has urged the Balochistan government to make amendments in RTI act, 2005 in the light of international best practices.The amendments shall aim to promote transparency, openness and maximum disclosure of information; like RTI laws applicable in KP, Punjab and Sindh. Provincial cabinet of Balochistan has formed a committee to discuss proposed amendments in RTI Act, 2005.
Mr. Amer Ejaz, Executive Director CPDI said that KP, Punjab, Sindh and federal government has repealed weak RTI laws and replaced it with progressive RTI laws. The Government of Balochistan should now follow the suit and expedite legislation of effective RTI law. Citizens and journalists face innumerable problems in having access to government held information related to public matters. He added that Balochistan FOIA 2005 is not effective and doesn’t provide legitimate access to information held by public bodies.
Currently, Balochistan has the weakest RTI law in Pakistan because it has many flaws e.g. scope is restrictive, process of getting information under RTI is neither free nor easy, list of exempted information is longer than the disclose able information. Most importantly, citizens of Balochistan do not have an independent appellate forum like Punjab Information Commission and KP RTI Commission. He further said that RTI Law is an instrument of change for bringing much needed transparency and accountability in the provincial governmental sphere.