ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif has appointed the Chief Information Commissioner and an Information Commissioner for the Pakistan Information Commission in accordance with Section 18 of the Right to Access to Information Act, 2017.
According to notifications issued by the Establishment Division on Tuesday, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui has been appointed as Chief Information Commissioner, while Mr. Ijaz Hussain Awan has been appointed as an Information Commissioner at the Pakistan Information Commission.
However, a post for an Information Commissioner from the civil society is still vacant within the commission.
The newly appointed Chief Information Commissioner, Mr. Siddiqui, has previously served as Secretary for the Ministry of Information Technology and as Secretary for the Wafaqi Mohtasib (Ombudsman)’s Secretariat.
Mr. Ijaz Hussain, on the other hand, has recently retired as a Session Judge.
It is worth noting that the Pakistan Information Commission was non-functional since November 7, 2022, following the retirement of the members of the commission.
The civil society has applauded the appointment of the Information Commission and has urged the Prime Minister to fill the vacant post of the last Information Commissioner.
The Section 18 (3) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 is as under;
(3) The Information Commission shall comprise three Commissioners to be appointed by the Prime Minister with the following composition:
- (a) One member shall be qualified to be a Judge of a High Court;
- (b) One member who has been in the service of Pakistan in BS-22 or equivalent; and
- (c) One member shall be from civil society having a degree based on sixteen years of education from a recognized institution and experience of not less than fifteen year in the field of social sciences;
- (d) The information Commissioners shall be of less than 65 years of age at the time of appointment.