QUETTA: A consultative meeting held here on Sunday was informed that the Balochistan cabinet has approved the draft Right of Access to Information Act but has not made it public so far.
The meeting, organised by AID Balochistan in collaboration with the National Endowment Fund for Democracy, was attended by senior journalists from electronic and print media and advocacy experts.
They pledged to continue the joint struggle till the draft becomes the law of Balochistan.
Mir Behram Lehri, the head of AID Balochistan, briefed the participants about the efforts made by his organisation for preparation of recommendations after consulting all stockholders.
He also spoke about the concerns of civil society over the draft bill.
“The Balochistan government has passed the bill, but it has not granted the right to access the law,” the participants said.
Senior journalists suggested that the Standing Committee on Information should be contacted before moving the bill in the provincial assembly and submit the recommendations to the members.
Senior journalist Zafar Baloch said that the government of Balochistan should pass the law, but present it to civil society and media personnel before getting it approved from the assembly.
General Secretary of the Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) Rasheed Baloch said contacts with members of the Balochistan Assembly should be intensified and the draft of Right to Information Act of the federal government, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa should be shared with them.
Senior journalist Qadeer Rind said that modern and contemporary internet and social media should be a part of this law.
Advocacy expert Mir Behram Baloch expressed the hope that the Right to Information Bill of Balochistan would be a better bill with an independent system of transparency and accountability.
Shahnawaz Baloch, Akbar Notezai, Qadeer Rind, Mir Behram Baloch, Sadiq Baloch and Adil Jahangir also attended the meeting.
Published in Dawn, October 5th, 2020