Delays in Establishing Information Commissions in Balochistan and Sindh Raise Concerns

Citizens in the provinces of Balochistan and Sindh are facing a concerning denial of their fundamental right to access information, a situation exacerbated by the failure of their provincial governments to establish functional information commissions.


This issue has persisted despite the passage of right to information laws, highlighting the governments’ lack of commitment to transparency and public interest.

In Balochistan, the government’s inaction is particularly glaring, as it has yet to appoint the chief commissioner and members of the provincial information commission, despite the fact that the right to information law was enacted over 11 months ago.

The Balochistan Right to Information Act became law on February 15, 2021, and Section 18 of the act mandated the establishment of the Balochistan Information Commission within 120 days. The grace period for this expired on June 15, 2021, but the appointments have not materialized.

The law requires the government to appoint a chief commissioner, a retired civil servant of at least grade 20, and three other commissioners, one of whom should be from civil society with a minimum of 15 years of relevant experience.

This delay not only reflects the government’s non-serious attitude but also deprives citizens of their constitutional right to information, as enshrined in Article 19 A.

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Mukhtar Ahmed Ali, the Executive Director of the Centre for Peace and Development Initiative (CPDI), emphasizes that Balochistan was the last province to enact an effective right to information law in line with Article 19 A, a right incorporated into the Constitution through the 18th Amendment in 2010. The prolonged delay in the establishment of the Balochistan Information Commission underscores the government’s lack of commitment to public interest.

In Sindh, the situation is not much better. The provincial government has failed to appoint new members to its information commission for the last seven months, even after the tenures of the previous commissioners expired on May 30, 2021.

The Sindh Transparency and Rights of Information Act was passed by the provincial assembly in 2018, but the previous commission’s performance left much to be desired in terms of transparency and access to information for citizens.

Mukhtar Ahmed Ali highlights that this delay questions the provincial government’s commitment to appointments and the credibility of information commissioners, which is a significant concern. He underscores the importance of an oversight and accountability mechanism for the effective implementation of the right to information law.

Saeed Ghani, Sindh Minister for Information, acknowledges the delay in the appointment of information commissioners and notes that the government considered extending the service of the existing members through an amendment to the law, but this proposal was rejected in favor of appointing new members. He assures that the appointment process will be completed in about a month.

The situation in Balochistan and Sindh emphasizes the need for a stronger commitment to transparency and accountability on the part of provincial governments. The right to information is a fundamental pillar of a democratic society, and its delayed implementation raises valid concerns about the governments’ dedication to the principles of open governance and public interest.

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