Punjab govt urged to remove PIC chief commissioner | Pakistan Today

Punjab govt urged to remove PIC chief commissioner

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Rafique Ahmed Rajwana has been urged to withdraw notification of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Lawyers Forum Pakistan President Naseer Ahmad Bhutta as Punjab Information Commission’s (PIC) chief commissioner.

Civil Society Network Chairman Abdullah Malik through his counsel Advocate Azhar Siddique wrote a letter to Governor Rafique Ahmed Rajwana, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other authorities concerned and said that Naseer Ahmad Bhutta was serving as PML-N’s Lawyers Forum president and he could not be given a constitutional post on political grounds.

In the letter, Abdullah said that there are many applications of the right to information pending with the PIC chief commissioner, and being a political boss of the commission, he can hinder access to information in important scandals.  He added that Bhutta can also hinder in making Model Town incident enquiry report public.

The Punjab government appointed Naseer Ahmad Bhutta as Punjab Information Commission’s chief commissioner on Wednesday. Bhutta tendered resignation from the post of additional attorney general just two days before his appointment as the Punjab Information Commission’s chief commissioner.

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had earlier appointed Naseer Ahmad Bhutta as additional attorney general in October 2013. Bhutta was also very vocal in leading the lawyers’ movement against former President Pervez Musharraf and had also been a member of National Assembly in 2008 from PML-N.

The PIC is an independent body set up under the Punjab Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2013.  Any citizen of Pakistan or an organisation registered in Pakistan can apply for information under the act about information from any department, attached department, organisation, institution, court, tribunal, commission, office, board or a body established or funded by the government of the Punjab.

The citizens can also have access to information from those private institutions or organisations which are substantially financed by the provincial or a local government. They are required to write an application for access to information on a plain paper or on an optional form developed and disseminated by the commission.

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