Training workshop on Right to Information held for members of Punjab Provincial Assembly

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Staff Reporter

Chief Information Commissioner Punjab Mehboob Qadir Shah said it was the government’s duty to provide all accurate information to the citizens.

He said this while addressing a training workshop on right to information organized for the members of the Punjab Assembly.

He said basic rights can be provided to ordinary citizen’s through the Right to Information Act. Every organization needs to digitize its system so that people can be informed immediately.

Syed Kausar Abbas Executive Director SSDO, said in the training workshop that the common people of Pakistan are the real owners of this country.

He said that Countries run on taxpayer money. Every citizen has the basic right to ask where his or her tax money is being spent.

He said Right to information means empowering citizens by educating them.He said Parliamentarians can play an important role in the right to information because parliamentarians meet people in their constituencies.He said institutions that talk about public issues should make everything public.

The healing process must begin with oneself.
Mukhtar Ahmad Ali former Punjab Information Commissioner said that, according to the Right to Information Act, if an institution does not provide information to the complainant within 14 days, a fine equal to two days salary is imposed against the officer of the concerned institution.

He said ten to twelve officers have also been sentenced. He said one of the pillars on which our system stands is the system of privacy, which is a major obstacle to the development of society.

The concept of asking questions can only be conceived in a democratic system. In the monarchical system there was no concept of questioning.

Zafarullah Khan, former Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services, said the rusty governance locks could be unlocked under the Right to Information Act.

He said ordinary citizens can open locks under the Right to Information Act. It is not important to make a law unless it is implemented.

He said ninety percent of countries have RTI laws. If an institution does not work properly, action can be taken against that institution.

Parliament makes all the laws. No law applies to them but the law of right to information also applies to the parliament.

He said there is a culture of incomplete talk in Pakistan. We have to bring change in the society by conveying accurate information to the people.

Inayatullah Lak, Director General Parliamentary Affairs Punjab Assembly, said in the workshop that after the 18th amendment, all the provinces have been given powers and every citizen has been given a basic right by including Article 19A in the 18th amendment.

He said if a bill has to be passed by a province, it can be passed by a 2/3 majority in the province. Each provincial government has to make its own rules.

Punjab Parliamentarians Uzma Kardar, Syed Hassan Murtaza, Aon Hameed Dogar, Khalil Tahir Sandhu, Mian Shafi Muhammad, Malik Wasif Mazhar, Farah Agha, Asia Amjad, Seemabia Tahir, Bushra Butt, Sadia Sohail, Sumara Ahmed, Syeda Uzmi Qadri ,Sania Kamran, Barrister Wasim Khan Badozai participated in the training workshop.

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