Peshawar: Extension of the RTI Act to the newly merged districts is an excellent step that would lead to a big social change and political development in the right direction. Due to merger of the erstwhile FATA and PATA into KP, the tribal peoples have the same status as the peoples of KP are enjoying.
This was stated by Mrs. Farah Hamid Khan, Chief Information Commissioner (CIC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission (KPIC) while addressing to the Public Information officers (PIOs) / heads of the line departments of district Khyber on a training on Right to Information Law here in a local hotel at Peshawar.
Mrs. Farah stated that RTI Law has helped to protect the public’s constitutional right to access information of public importance. The tribal areas were governed by a separate law known as Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) made by the British in 1901. This law has proved as the main obstacle in bringing FATA in to the mainstream of Pakistan. Implementation of the RTI Law in letter and spirit would help establish a strong line of defence against malpractices in the line departments.
She added that Pro-active disclosure of information over the internet has made requesters life easier. CIC impressed upon the need for proper maintenance / indexation of public records and Pro-Active disclosure of information of public importance as required under Section 5 of the KPK RTI Act for ease in provision of data to the citizens. She added that the KPIC is mandated to oversee the implementation of the law and urged the PIOs to promptly respond to the information requests of citizens.
CIC said that the Commission has planned to launch a comprehensive awareness campaign for the masses of the NMDs so as to raise their capacity to utilize the full advantages of the RTI Act.