ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday laid before the House ‘The Right of Access to Information Bill, 2017’.
The chair referred the bill to the Standing Committee concerned for report.
The bill has been introduced to ensure that the citizens of Pakistan may have the fullest possible access to public records.
It is intended to promote a two way-flow of information — from the Government to the people and vice versa for strengthening and safeguarding the public’s right to know. This is especially important in the backdrop of Article 19-A of the Constitution which explicitly recognizes this right as a fundamental human right.
The bill recognizes that it is an inalienable birth right of an individual and is universally recognized in a democratic dispensation. In a constitutional governance, public officials are the custodians of the public records and documents, and the people, the real sovereigns, have the right of access to all public records.
However, this is subject to law and except the material disclosure of which may be harmful to national security, relations with the friendly countries and privacy of the life, home, family and honour of the citizens of Pakistan.
Access to information is an essential pre-requisite to the people’s realization of their ideals of good and transparent governance.