ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday underlined the need for having Rights of Access to Information Bill 2017 passed by the Parliament, and stressed professional training of working journalists, terming both as an integral part of democracy.
In this regard, the State Minister moved the Rights of Access to Information Bill 2017 in National Assembly today, and said it would ensure public access to government records.
Maryam Aurangzeb said it was for the first time that such bill was being introduced in legislatures. She said the bill would strengthen democratic values in the Country.
The Upper House – Senate – has already unanimously passed the Rights of Access to Information Bill 2017 which grants citizens complete access to the record of public authorities.
The State Minister for Information had tabled the bill in the Senate on May 25 this year which was later passed by the House on August 22.
If the Lower House passes the Rights of Access to Information Bill 2017 following its approval by the Senate, it will replace Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002 enacted in Pervez Musharraf era.
The Rights of Access to Information Bill 2017 will allow citizens to seek information regarding public offices. However, official record of armed forces, defence installations, details of individuals’ bank accounts, defence and national security will remain inaccessible.
Meanwhile, the Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb also addressed a Media Workers Workshop at National Press Club (NPC) Camp Office in Rawalpindi wherein she said the government was committed to facilitate journalists, and their protection was government’s priority.
Maryam Aurangzeb said journalists play a vital role in propagating awareness.
Moreover, the minister said democracy was is the only way forward, and its continuity was must for bright future. She said mandate of people must be given respect.