December 2; Members of the National Assembly of Pakistan belonging to the Young Parliamentarians’ Forum (YPF) were given a detailed briefing today on Pakistan’s Federal Right to Information Law at a virtual capacity building session organised by UNDP-PILDAT in collaboration with UNFPA and Government of Canada.
In a detailed presentation, Mr. Ahmed Bilal Mehboob, shared with MNAs that the Federal Right of Access to Information Law has been in place since October 2017. The law is progressive in nature and is in keeping with the new wave of Right to Information laws across Pakistan, of which KP and Punjab RTI laws have been ranked as the best laws. He explained in detail how the law is an important tool ensuring citizens’ right to information. In addition to sharing key points of the law, he alsao said that according to the law, the Federal Information Commission has to submit its bi-annual progress report to the Parliament and also update the same on its website. He informed the participants that they should raise a question in the Parliament about the timely submission of the reports by the Information Commission and should review the reports, which will help the commission to become proactive and also provide the young parliamentarians with an oppertuntity to interact and learn about the Federal RAI law.
Ms. Romina Khursheed Aalm, MNA, Member YPF, while speaking on the occasion, said that the Parliamentary Committees are the most effective for a for holding the institutions accountable so the Information Commission should also be answerable in the Parliamentary Committee. She also proposed to move a joint resolution from the platform of the YPF to this effect.
Ms. Uzma Riaz, MNA, General Secretary YPF, thanked PILDAT for arranging an informative briefing session and termed the session as extremely informative. She also said that YPF members require more and more informed capability-building sessions, and hoped that such sessions will also be conducted in person in the future as the coronavirus pandemic eases
Mr. Shahid Ahmed, MNA and President YPF, also attended the session.
Following members of the Young Parliamentary Forum attended the virtual session:
- Shazia Sobia Aslam, MNA (PPPP), Member YPF
- Wajiha Akram, MNA (PTI), Member YPF
- Uzma Riaz, MNA (PTI), General Secretary YPF
- Romina Khursheed Aalam, MNA (PML-N), Member YPF
- Mr. Shahid Ahmed, MNA, (PTI), President YPF