Stresses early legislation on Right to Information
Islamabad May 2, 2016: Press Freedom Day today is an appropriate occasion to commit ourselves to ending impunity of crimes against journalists on the one hand and to demand urgent legislation on right to information on the other.
The PPP is deeply concerned over the impunity with which crimes against journalists and media persons have been perpetrated. The Party is also concerned that the government is dragging its feet on the proposed RTI.
This has been stated by President Pakistan People’s Party parliamentarian and former President Asif Ali Zardari in a message on the Press Freedom Day falling on May 3, 2016.
On this World Press Freedom Day I call upon all organs of the state and concerned citizens to bring to justice the perpetrators of crimes against journalists. I also wish to pay tribute to all those journalists who have been performing their duties despite difficult and dangerous conditions. The PPP reiterates its commitment to the freedom and the safety of the media persons everywhere in general and in Pakistan in particular.
Zardari also called for establishing a credible and effective institutional mechanism for protection of journalists in consultation with all stakeholders including federal and provincial governments, representative bodies of working media persons, media houses and professional media bodies.
I also call upon the government to urgently legislate the Right to Information Law adopted, two years ago, by the Senate Committee represented by all political parties.
He said that Right to information is fundamental to transparency and accountability.
Continued dithering on the RTI legislation raises questions as to why the government resents free flow of information and transparency. Information flow empowers citizens. When the flow of information is obstructed the citizen is dis-empowered, he said.