Right to Information


The concept of the “Right to Information” refers to the fundamental right of individuals to access information held by public authorities or entities. It embodies the principle that people have the right to know and access information about the workings of their governments, public institutions, and other entities that perform public functions.

Key elements of the right to information include:

  • Access to Information

Individuals have the right to access information held by public authorities, unless there are legitimate reasons for withholding such information, such as national security concerns or privacy considerations.

  • Transparency and Accountability

The right to information promotes transparency and accountability in governance by allowing citizens to access information about government policies, decisions, actions, and spending. It enables people to hold authorities accountable for their actions.

  • Freedom of Expression

It is closely linked to the freedom of expression, allowing individuals to seek, receive, and impart information without undue interference.

  • Participation in Decision-Making

Access to information empowers individuals to participate effectively in decision-making processes that affect their lives and communities. It enables informed participation in democratic processes.

  • Open Government

It fosters the principles of open and accountable government by making information accessible and available to the public, contributing to good governance practices.

  • Limits and Exceptions

While the right to information is fundamental, there might be limitations and exceptions to access, such as protecting national security, privacy, or ongoing legal proceedings.

The CESCR may not explicitly mention the right to information, other international treaties, along with domestic laws and practices, recognize and protect this right as a crucial aspect of freedom of expression and access to information essential for the realization of various human rights.

The implementation of the right to information often involves enacting laws or regulations that facilitate access to information, establishing procedures for making information requests, setting timelines for responses, and defining mechanisms for appealing denials of access.

Constitution of Pakistan

The right to information is recognized as a fundamental right under Article 19-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, which states that every citizen has the right to access information held by any public body. 

Sindh Legal Framework

The Government of Sindh has enacted the Sindh Freedom of Information Act in 2006. The Government has also established Sindh Information Commission under the said Act.

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