Workshop: B & R Rest House near Post Office Kalat, Balochistan

Workshop: Universal Access to Infomration (IDUAI 2022): Ensuring Participation,
Accountability and Good Governance through RTI Date: 27 September, 2022
Venue: B & R Rest House near Post Office Kalat, Balochistan

Summary : 

On the occasion of International Day for Universal Access to Information, TI Pakistan in collaboration with Gindar Adabi Society Kalat conducted a workshop on Balochistan Right to Information Act 2021. The workshop was attended by 40 participants. The participants included Meer Qadir Bakhsh Ex. District president Balochistan National Party (Mengal), Ahmed Nawaz, Tehsil Member BNP, Haji Ghulam Qadir Balochistan, District Vice President, Balochistan National Party (Awami), Mr. Khalil Ahmed, Flood Community Chairman, Shah Faisal Member Jamiat e Ulma Islam, Kalat, Nabi Bakhsh Anjum, Media Reporter, Deputy Commissioner Kalat, Mohsin Brahui, Writer and Member of Brahui Academy Kalat, Hafeez Sahed Brahui, President of Government Teacher Association (AINI) Kalat and students from a local college.

The workshop started with the recitation of holy Quran. Afterwards, Mr. Musa Khan Mengal, President Gindar Adabi Society Kalat introduced TI Pakistan and its achievements in Pakistan. He shed a light on the adverse effects of corruption being faced by every individual in the society and emphasized on the objectives of the workshop. Moving on, Mr. Zahoor Mehar, RTI trainer briefed the participants that the Balochistan RTI Bill 2021 mandates that any citizen who wants to get information from a government department,can submit a written request to the information officers of the concerned department on plain paper. According to the law, every department should designate Public Information Officer (PIO). The officer must provide the required information in writing to the citizen within 14 to28 days. If an applicant does not get a satisfactory response from the PIO, the applicant can file a written complaint to the Information Commission set up under Balochistan RTI Bill 2021.

The information obtained through RTI can be used for further probing to investigate whether a corrupt practice has taken place or not.

One of the participants raised a question that what if we could not get the required information even after complaining to the Information Commission. Would TI Pakistan helpus? The trainer responded affirmatively that TI Pakistan helps individuals and provide them free legal advice on how to pursue and demand their rights.

During the session, Meer Qadir Baksh Mengal, Ex. District President Balochistan National Party (Mengal), talked about the issues of district Kalat. He said he would file applications against some departments through the platform of his political party, in the instances where the departments do not work well.

Mr. Haji Ghulam Qadir, District Vice President, Balochistan National Party (Awami) spoke about Transparency International Pakistan’s activities. He told that Gindar Society held lots of program and awareness sessions in collaboration with TI Pakistan. He said that they require more help and want TI Pakistan should start a district branch in Kalat where they can go easily.

At the end of the training Q/A session was held. Participants asked various questions which were answered satisfactorily. A participant asked how RTI can help them to know whether the distribution of funds in flood effected areas is transparent.

In the end, Musa Khan Mengal, President Gindar Adabi Society Kalat, thanked the participants and TI Pakistan for holding RTI awareness sessions.