Urging the Sindh government to share the draft of the right to information bill with the public, the Centre of Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) said that the bill should only be presented for cabinet approval after seeking input from all the stakeholders, including the media, civil society groups and citizens.
"It is ironic that a cloak of secrecy is wrapped around the draft of the right to information bill prepared by the Sindh government and citizens have no information about the law that is supposed to provide them with access to information held by public bodies," said CPDI in a press release issued on Wednesday.
Giving the example of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, the centre claimed that it was the feedback of citizens, journalists and civil society groups that translated into effective right to information legislation, while the bureaucracy always tried to limit the scope and effectiveness of these laws.
"The K-P bureaucracy even managed to get cabinet approval for a highly ineffective right to information law," pointed out the CPDI, adding that it was the input of the media, citizens and civil society groups that led to the rejection of that bill. "The Sindh government is mistaken in its reliance on the provincial bureaucracy for drafting a law that meets the standards of effective right to information legislation."
Published in The Express Tribune, July 16th, 2015.
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