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Matiullah Jan’s kidnapping issue: Interior ministry refuses to send representative to Information Commission

By Asim Yasin
October 09, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Interior Ministry Thursday refused to send its representative to the Information Commission to explain why it has refused providing CCTV footage on the kidnapping of journalist Matiullah Jan recently to a citizen who had demanded it under the Right to Information Act of 2017.

Earlier, the Interior Ministry had refused to even acknowledge the request of petitioner, former Senator Farhatullah Babar, and the letter by the Information Commission to respond to the petitioner.

The hearing was held before the three-member Information Commission headed by Chief Commissioner Muhammad Azam and comprising Commissioners Zahid Abdullah and Fawad Malik at its office in Islamabad.

Pleading before the commission, Senator Farhatullah Babar referred to Section 5(l) of the RTI Act which declares as public document “camera footage at public places, wherever available, which have a bearing on a crime”.

The kidnapping of Matiullah Jan was a criminal act, he said, adding that the Interior Ministry as in-charge of the capital police was obligated under the law to provide the footage. He hoped that if the footage was provided to him, with the help of experts, he would be able to identify the perpetrators of the crime and the vehicles used in the kidnapping. Matiullah Jan was kidnapped on July 21 last from near the Government Girls School G-6/1-3 in the federal capital.