Islamabad [Pakistan], December 9 (ANI): The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) has informed the Defence Ministry that information about income, income tax, assets, perks, privileges, post-retirement benefits and plots allotted to officers of the armed forces is public information and not a sensitive one.
According to Dawn, this comes after the commission issued some guidelines in this regard to the Defence Ministry on Monday while deciding 34 appeals filed by Women's Action Forum (WAF) activists and some concerned citizens who had sought the information from the Ministry which refused to provide the data.
The commission told the Ministry that it is the duty of the designated "public information officer" to respond to the requests filed by the citizens under Rule 3 of the Right of Access to Information Rules, 2019.
The office of the information commission directed the Ministry to provide information within 10 working days and warned that non-compliance would lead to a heavy penalty.
"If the delay is caused or any other complaint occurs as a result of non-cooperation, faulty or delayed response on part of an officer whose assistance was sought by the designated officer, such officer shall be deemed to be designated officer after approval of the Secretary concerned for purpose of imposition of penalties under the [Right of Access to Information] Act," as per the PIC's decision.
The WAF welcomed the commission's decision and added that earlier requests were sent to the Ministry to seek the information about the chief of army staff, lieutenant generals, major generals and brigadiers of the army; air chief marshal, air marshals, air vice marshals and commodores of the Air Force; and admiral, vice admiral, rear admirals and commodores of the Navy.
"When no [positive] response was received... from the Defence Ministry, the applicants approached the PIC," the WAF said as quoted by Dawn.
The WAF added that the people's interests lay in safeguarding the Constitution and fundamental and equal rights of all citizens and the separation of state powers. (ANI)