ISLAMABAD — Some senators from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) have reportedly moved a bill in the upper house of the parliament, seeking to protect all information relating to the Senate as well as the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Senator Waleed Iqbal, Senator Sajjad Toori and three other senators have moved the bill after a citizen sought information under the Right of Access to Information Act about recruitments made to the Senate and salary being paid to the newly-recruited employees, says Islamabad-based reporter Asad Malik.
Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani was contacted for this information – the number of people recruited in his tenure, their grades and their salaries — but to no avail. Instead of giving the applicant the required information, there are reports the government is going to change the Right of Access to Information Act altogether.
A citizen named Mukhtar Hussain had submitted an application to the Senate via the Information Commission, asking Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani to provide him information about the number of people recruited to Senate since 2017, grades of these newly recruited people and how many people were recruited to existing posts and how many to newly created posts.
The Information Commission accepted Mukhtar’s application and directed the Senate Secretariat to provide the required information to the applicant within 10 days.
In response, the Senate Secretariat wrote to the Information Commission that the information sought by the applicant was sensitive therefore it could not be given to people. Since Senate and the National Assembly of Pakistan are constitutional institutions therefore all information involving these institutions should be kept private, the Senate Secretariat said.
Now the Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting will take up this bill for a discussion on Monday.
Earlier, a key position was created before the recent Senate elections and then installation of hidden cameras in ballot boxes created a very unpleasant situation on the Senate election day.