ACCOUNTABILITY and transparency are the two key pillars of democracy and good governance. Sadly, these two aspects have been hugely compromised by the absence and dysfunctionality of the Sindh Information Commission and the Sindh Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission. This has resulted in the Sindh government and police officials consistently failing to respond to citizens’ requests for information and to the complaints made against the Sindh Police.
The Sindh Right to Information Act passed in March 2017 required an Information Commission to be in place within the first 100 days of the passage of the Act. Sadly, even today, two and a half years after the passage of this Act, there are no signs, no office, no address, no phone number, no e mail, no contact, no rules and no regulations relating to this important institution.
The notification for Sindh Public Safety and Police Complaints Commission was issued onSept 11, 2019, with six government-nominated members of civil society and seven political party candidates. This ratio ought to be the other way around if this commission has to undertake any meaningful accountability. However the critical issue at this juncture is that notwithstanding its credibility, the commission is nowhere on the horizon and could well be declared as dead or missing.
I appeal to the chief minister to resurrect the two dysfunctional commissions and restore the constitutional rights of citizens granted by Article 19A of the Constitution and the Police Order 2002.