QUETTA: Speakers at a conference demanded the establishment of Balo­chistan Information Commission and appointment of chief information commissioner without delay in accordance with Section 18 of the Balochistan Right to Information Act, 2021.

The conference was organised by the Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) in collaboration with the European Union on Wednesday.

The Balochistan government was bound to establish an information commission within six months of the enactment of the act; it has been almost two years since the law was implemented, but the information commission was not formed.

Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, Executive Director of CPDI, discussed the loopholes in the act and presented recommendations for amendments.

Member of Provincial Assembly Nasrullah Zerey questioned the inability of government in implementing the act.

“No Public Information Officers (PIOs) have been designated in departments across Balochistan as of yet,” said Mr Zerey, adding that drafting capacity of the officials needed to be built.

Social activist Jalila Haider stressed the need for access to speedy and accurate information during the relief and rehabilitation of the people in post-disaster situations such as the recent floods.

MPA Shakeela Naveed said the culture of secrecy embedded in the system was so bad that even MPA’s faced difficulty in getting certified information.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2022

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