One day training workshop for public information officers in Peshawar

Peshawar: Chief Information Commissioner Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid promised the eradication of common man’s problems at any cost, saying the job was extremely tough but not impossible.

He said that by approving “Right to Information Act”, government has done its due part of the task, while, it was our duty to act upon voice of our conscience towards providing facilities to masses and make sure the implementation of Right to Information Act with its true spirit so that the agenda of change of provincial government can be seen and felt as promised.

This he said while speaking at a one day long training workshop of Public Information Officers (PIOs) in Archives and Libraries Hall at Peshawar on Tuesday. Chairman Tobacco Board Azmat Hanif Orakzai, Commissioners Information Commission, Prof. Kaleemullah and Abdul Mateen Khan along with Public Information Officers were also present on the occasion.

Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid emphasized on the importance of Right to Information Act, saying “Right to Information Act” is like a light in the darkroom, through which, everything is visible and one can easily see and understand his surroundings”, he explained. He said that time has come to share everything and to transform authority to public which is the real centre of power. He said that by doing so corruption could be out rooted and common man would be educated regarding his importance and role in society.

Chief Information Commissioner advised public information officers to deal the complaints with friendly and soft approach. No loopholes should be presented in the process of providing information demanded. Keep open the offices for easy public access resulting a clear sign of change to be felt by the masses. He said that each and every information must be shared with people with the exception of few which are connected to international relations and security.

Sahibzada M. Khalid said that if PIOs consider RTI as “Pain in the neck”, then the purpose of this law would never be achieved because implementation of RTI would be done through these officers. This is the doctors’ order to give relief to social elements which are deprived and oppressed since long. Duties shall be fulfilled according to the public interest.

Chairman Tobacco Board and Pioneer of RTI idea, Azmat Hanif Orakzai said while speaking to the workshop that RTI act was introduced in the previous assembly of ANP government but was not approved due to invisible reasons but PTI led provincial government deserves all credit and upload for the approval of RTI act on priority basis.

He informed the participants that RTI act has been ranked among the best three laws in the world by the Centre for Laws and Democracy Canada on the international arena. He said that according to Section 5 Sub Section 3 of the act, all Public Information Officers are bound to send an annual report to information commission which will show the effectiveness and achievements of Right to Information Act.

Azmat Hanif Orakzai requested the provincial and federal governments to extend Right to Information Act to FATA where such law is highly needed. Commissioner Information Commission, Abdul Mateen Khan said on the occasion that providing accurate and authentic information to public is a must job according to this law.

He said that in the next step, more positive changes would be brought to the law as well as implementation in FATA would also be suggested to the authorities.

Questions answers session was launched at the end of workshop generating knowledge and education of public information officers regarding Right to Information Act.

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