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Extension of right to information law to Malakand sought

MINGORA: The members of civil society and local journalists here on Wednesday demanded of the provincial government to direct the administration of Malakand division to provide information to them under Right to Information Act, 2013.

They were speaking at a workshop on RTI law. The workshop was organised by Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA).

Addressing the workshop, CGPA project manager Asadullah said that access to information was the constitutional right of every citizen. He said that Right to Information Act, 2013 was imposed in the entire province and it extended automatically to Malakand division after the area was merged into the province.

Lehaz Ali, a journalist, said that all journalists must make use of the law to include essential information and data in their stories. However, civil society members and journalists said the law was imposed about five years ago in the province but eight million people of Malakand division were deprived of its benefits.

`We need information for our investigative stories but unfortunately authorities refuse to give us the required data saying that they have not received any notification about the extension of the RTI law to the area,` said Niaz Ahmad Khan, a local journalist.

The participants of the workshop demanded of the government to issue a notification to the regional and district administration about extension of the law. Syed Saad Jehan, the communication officer of KP Information Commission, said soon a notification would be sent to the commissioner of Malakand division to direct all the departments to give access to information to every citizen under the law.

Diplomats: The diplomats from different countries here on Wednesday said that they were excited to see educational activities resumed in Swat.

The diplomats and military attaches of different countries including France, Germany, Palestine, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China, Iran, Romania, Nigeria and Turkey etc along with ISPR Director General Asif Ghafoor visited Army Public School in Swat where they met with students and talked to them.

GOC Malakand Maj Gen Khalid Saeed briefed them on the military operation in Swat. Correspondent