Right to Information

Shah Departs: Punjab Loses Transparency Champion

Lahore – After a remarkable six-year tenure marked by unwavering dedication to transparency, Mr. Mahboob Qadir Shah retired on Friday from his post as Chief Information Commissioner of the Punjab Information Commission (PIC).

Appointed on May 9, 2018, Mr. Shah’s commitment to open governance was evident throughout his service. In 2021, his term was extended for three years following an amendment to the relevant law.

Significantly, Mr. Shah’s fight for transparency extended beyond policy. The Government of Punjab attempted to remove him twice, in February 2023 and January 2024. However, both attempts were thwarted by the High Court’s intervention, highlighting Mr. Shah’s unwavering resolve.

Civil society organizations and Right to Information (RTI) activists hailed Mr. Shah as a champion of good governance. His legacy includes landmark decisions like:

  • Directing the Punjab Assembly to revamp its website for public accessibility.
  • Eliminating the mandatory CNIC requirement for filing RTI requests.
  • Declaring the Lahore Gymkhana a public body under the RTI Act.
  • Declaring FIRs by the Anti-Corruption Establishment as public records.

A farewell ceremony held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce on Friday served as a testament to Mr. Shah’s impact. Lawyers, former judges, PIC members, journalists, and RTI activists gathered to pay tribute to his unwavering pursuit of transparency.

Mr. Shah’s retirement marks the end of an era, but his legacy as an advocate for open information paves the way for a more transparent future in Punjab.

Saddia Mazhar

Saddia Mazhar, an accomplished Investigative Journalist hailing from District Sahiwal, Punjab, possesses a fervor for unveiling impactful narratives. With a demonstrated history of hosting radio shows, web TV programs, contributing to esteemed publications, and steering digital media platforms, she stands as a notable figure in the field. Connect with her on Twitter @SaddiaMazhar. She can be contacted at thesaddia@gmail.com
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