Right to Information

Journalists urged to use tool of ‘right to information’

Karachi: The Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI) on Friday conducted one-day orientation session for journalists on the use of Right to Information law for investigative reporting.

Mr. Mazhar Abbas, a senior Journalist stressed that journalists to use RTI for investigative stories. The use of RTI will not only help journalists get certified data but also increase the authenticity of journalistic stories.

He further said, Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) is dysfunctional since November 2022 due to the completion of the tenure of information commissioners and demanded the federal government must appoint PIC commissioners without further delay. A large number of journalists and civil society activists attended the session.

Zahid Abdullah, RTI Advisor of CPDI, and former Information Commissioner of Pakistan Information Commission said that RTI is considered a milestone for ensuring accountability and transparency in public bodies. Being the 4th pillar of democracy, journalists are the representative of the people in terms of using RTI Act for investigating and publicizing information of public interest.

He added that gathering information through RTI Act, especially young journalists can contribute to ensure transparency in public, professional, and social spheres. However, RTI is considered the best tool for investigative journalism.

While talking with journalists, Mr. Shahid Abbas Jatoi, Information Commissioner of SIC said that the Commission is facilitating citizens in getting information that is guaranteed under Article 19-A of the constitution of Pakistan and the Sindh RTI Act. The commission received 105 complaints from June 2022, 6 were resolved and on remaining complaints notices were issued to the relevant departments, he further added.

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