Universal Periodic Review of Pakistan by Article 19 – On Freedom of Expression

Freedom of information

Pakistan made an important advance with the 2010 amendments to the Constitution (Article 19A) to include a specific right of citizens to access to information. This places Pakistan in a group of nearly 100 countries that have done so and is an important first step forward in ensuring a right to information in the country.

However, the actual legal framework for ensuring the right remains weak. The Freedom of Information Ordinance, No. XCVI of 2002, the only national legislation providing for a right of access to information held by government bodies, is highly inadequate. It provides a limited right of access and redress and has been poorly implemented.

Furthermore, the Official Secrets Act, based on the original 1911 act, which places strong restrictions on the disclosure of information deemed by the state to be sensitive remains in place.

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Article 19/ BoloBhi

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