The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) sought details of salaries, assets, benefits and plots of senior army officers from the Ministry of Defense. The Information Commission said that the assets of army personnel are not sensitive but public information.
The Women Action Forum had filed more than 34 appeals from the Information Commission seeking access to the information, which was denied to them by the Ministry of Defense. However, the Pakistan Information Commission refused. The Ministry of Defense has issued instructions regarding these appeals and details of assets of all military officers under the Ministry of Defense have been sought.
Nighat Saeed Khan, Anis Haroon, Hilda Saeed, Dr. Abdul Hameed Nair, Naila Naz, Azmi Noorani, Maimona Rauf Khan, Nasreen Azhar, Rubina Sehgal, Maria Rashid, Kausar Khan , Nazish Brohi and Farhatullah Babar were among those who had submitted requests for this information to the Pakistan Information Commission.
The Pakistan Information Commission has directed the Ministry of Defense to provide all this information within 10 days. The letter to the Ministry of Defense also said that strict legal action could be taken against the officers concerned if these instructions were ignored.
The Women Action Forum has expressed satisfaction over the action of the National Information Commission. They said that earlier letter was written to the Ministry of Defense detailing the assets of the officers of the Army and all its related agencies but no positive response was received from the Ministry. That is why they contacted the National Information Commission.
According to the Women’s Action Forum, instead of providing them with information, the Ministry of Defense wrote that subordinates of the Ministry of Defense could not share their information with anyone. However, the Pakistan Information Commission has said that the assets of the Defense Ministry officials are not sensitive information but a public information.
It may be noted that under Article 19A of the Constitution of Pakistan, any citizen can access information on government matters.