Say Goodbye to Freedom of Information Thanks to the Government’s New Directive

The government has pushed out a new anti-public directive for the sake of “public interest”. Yet another move has been made to diminish transparency and limit people’s right to know. The new directive has almost killed the law of Freedom of Information by allowing all the ministries to block any information they wish.

The directive was issued last month by the Cabinet Division and it authorises all the ministries, divisions and agencies to stop the sharing of any information in the name of “public interest”. The term “any information” covers a very wide scope and could include anything.

Sources have told that the directive was issued after a citizen demanded some information from the Cabinet Division about the type of gifts received by the public officers, at the highest of ranks, from foreign dignitaries during the past few years. The Cabinet Division refused to reveal this information leading the citizen to go to the Federal Ombudsman, which is the only authority capable of challenging such decisions.

The Ombudsman asked the Cabinet Division to reveal the information inquired by the citizen and the Division had no other option other than follow the Ombudsman’s directive. The Ombudsman office stated that the information is not classified and therefore comes under the public domain. Cabinet Division approached the higher authorities instead of revealing the information to the citizen and asked the authorities to allow the protection of information for the greater “public interest”.

The Federal Government immediately issued a new directive to all ministries and divisions that nullifies the law of Freedom of Information and allows them to block any information under the name of “public interest”.

The directive was issued on 8th of September and stated “to immediately exclude from the purview of Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002, under the provisions of Article 8 of this ordinance, all documents and record which if publicised could compromise the public interest.”

Freedom and right to information is one of the basic citizen rights and allows the citizens to have access to any government record to ensure transparency. The government in Pakistan continues to resist to reveal such information despite their being a clear law that allows the citizens to ask for such info. First it was the Cyber Crime Law and now this. The Pakistani government continues to hide behind the name of “public interest” to conceal their acts of corruption and mismanagement.

via The News

He is the Editor-in-Chief at ProPakistani. Reach out at aadil.s[at]

    • too bad how people are 24×7 connected to the internet and stick to their phones

      Whatsapp chalaate rehte hein…..dont care to live the real life among real people and dont cherish the real relationships and instead talk to strangers online

      once I was in a hill station in shimla and I saw that instead of enjoying the weather and the beautiful place people were texting…chatting…surfing

      this is very depressing!

      • Internet is not a bad thing, but people don’t stop when start scrolling the fb feed and tweets.

        I found an illustration of 21st Century generation and their obsession with smartphones, which explains it all.

      • habibi tum do dance kero aur hum pakistanio ki fikar chor do apni bahano ki fikar kero koi shoaib phir na tumhari bhan ko bhaga ka la ja

        • sania humari behen nahi hai ji…uss chudel ko shoiab ke standard ka hi ladka mil sakta tha….tu apni behen ki cchinta kar….koi brahman ya pujari usse bhaga ke shadi na kar le

      • Bhai, its a valid comment and there is nothing to be personal and talk like that.
        Internet is neither his dad’s , ur dad’s or my dad’s.

        It was a general comment posted by Qadar

        • Thanks Khalid for backing me up.

          I just propose everyone here to read articles and comments with open mind!

  • This is severe violation of right of People in this country. We have the right to know everything and govt finds new ways every now and than to block stuff from reaching us.

  • If the same has happened in India, they will blame ISI for it. Indians never blames their own govt or people for abuse but Pakistanis are always blame their own govt for everything. Jaise awam waise hukmaran. As simple as that. AGar awam sahe ho jaye to in ko politicans be ache mil jaye ge lakin tab tak loot maar chalte rahege. Agar Nawaz Sharif galat hai to sahe kaun hai? Please name me one name?

    PS. I’m not a supporter of PML-N or any party.

  • go nawaz go to theek hai laikin ye fraudya Imran Khan kiyun khamosh rehnay laga hai ab :) isko iskay hissay k pesay jo mil jatay hain BC .
    ab kabhi DHARNA nhn hota :) na mahngai pay , na kisi bhi baat pay . BC ko apnay hissya k pesay mil jatay hain aur tum jesi C awaam IK zindabad k naray maarti rehtai hai :) GOD bless pakistan . ALLAH ka shukar hai meri jaan chooti aesi manhoos qom se . jo soi hui murda qom hai

  • nice one…the pic says it all

    also har 10 sec mein notification padhna…mail check karna wagera wagera

  • The Pakistani government would like to continues to hide the crucial information behind the name of “public interest” to conceal their acts of corruption and mismanagement.

  • where is all this happening ? in pakistan ? it will be like the traffic laws, no one understands the law nor will they obey it

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