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FOI - Freedom of Information Ordinance as a tool for ensuring Good Governance.

The right of access to information is not just a fundamental right of every citizen but also a vital instrument for sustaining a civilized and democratic society. It enables citizens to know the true facts and thus objectively evaluate or monitor the performance of their government. The right to information is critical to the process of strengthening good governance, accountability and transparency.

Understanding the concept: Any citizen has the right to access information and record held by public bodies, subject to some restrictions. FOI refers to a situation in which citizens can easily seek and receive information from the government departments and public bodies.

In 1946, during the first session, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 59 (1), which stated: Freedom of Information is a fundamental human right, the touchstone of all the freedoms to which the UN is consecrator. This was followed by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948.

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A small sampling of our efforts in the public interest includes:

  • The Judiciary acknowledges Shehri-CBE’s work: Sindh High Court appointed Shehri as amicus curiae in a number of public interest cases, in recognition of Shehri-CBE’s expertise in matters involving built environment.
  • Shehri-CBE contribute in foreclosing unlawful construction: Shehri-CBE, in February 1998, with other concerned citizens petitioned a case of unlawful construction of 35 buildings near Quaid Mazar. The Chief Justice converted the complaint into a Constitutional Petition No.160/1998 and order to seal the 35 buildings. (Public Notice: Daily “Dawn”, Karachi, 3-12-1998)
  • Success in Sindh Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) case: Shehri CBE filed a constitutional petition (CP # D-1571/2000) and achieved success against commercialization of 11 Karachi Transport Corporation (KTC) and 15 Sindh Road Transport Corporation (SRTC) bus depot plots in Karachi and Sindh. (Public Notice: Daily “Dawn”, Karachi, 26-10-1997)
  • Shehri-CBE stops encroachment: Shehri-CBE successfully save a Clifton road from encroachment by Glass Towers. (Public Notice: Daily “Dawn”, Karachi, 16-11-1998)
  • Shehri-CBE prevent Gutter Baghicha Park from encroachment: As a result of advocacy and filing public interest litigation Shehri-CBE saved 480 acres of Gutter Baghicha Park on Manghopir Road.
    • Suit No. 1484/08 – Shehri & Ors Vs. CDGK & Ors
    • HRC # 6-K/93 – Mrs. Amber Alibhai & Ors. Vs. Director EPA Sindh & Ors
  • Oversee Committee: Shehri-CBE gained success in advocating establishment of Oversee Committee of Sindh Building Control Authority (SBCA) and maintained a ‘Public Information Counter’ for 3 years.
  • Doongi Ground - Lahore: Shehri-CBE along with the residents of Gulberg filed Writ Petition # 1226/06 in the Lahore High Court and successfully challenged unlawful land-use conversion.
  • Bagh-e-Ibne Qasim Park: Shehri-CBE successfully petitioned the court in connection with the demolition of an unlawful construction of Costa Livina apartment on 1 acre of public amenity land of Bagh-e-Ibne Qasim.
  • Khalid Bin Waleed Park: Shehri-CBE gains remarkable success in advocating the nature of Khalid Bin Waleed Park as a public amenity space. It successfully win the case against municipalities of KMC and DMC (East). Later the Chief Justice of Sindh High Court convert the petition into a Constitutional Petition (CP No. D-2273/2012).
  • Encroachment on Hawksbay Scheme 42: Shehri is successful to file Constitutional Petition (CP No. D-1277/2003) in the Sindh High Court against encroachments in the residential plot area of the scheme.
  • Case of Makro - Habib: Shehri filed appeal in the Supreme Court of Pakistan to took a Suo-Motto action (SMC 10/2009) against the opening of Makro – Habib Story on an amenity plot which is designated as a playground in Lines Area Karachi. The Makro – Habib store is closed down as per the Supreme Court order. However, the full restoration of the playground is at the review stage.
  • Targeting for a "Gun Free Society": Shehri-CBE collaborated with Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) and the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) launched a “Gun Free Society” campaign in 1998, at Karachi Press Club and aware masses through 150,000 Stickers and workshops.
  • OECD Watch: Shehri-CBE is one of the founding members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Watch. The organization shares a common vision about the need for corporate accountability and sustainable investment.
  • Galiyat Development Authority: Peshawar High Court asked Shehri to join as amicus curiae in case of Green bench to help development Galiyat Master Plan (Nathia Gali) to conserve the environment of the scenic hillside.

  • Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct. - Thomas Carlyle

  • Gutter Baghicha
    Nisar Baloch A courageous and committed man was killed on 7th November, 2009. Nisar Baloch, resident of Old Golimar, hero of Gutter Bagicha, was gunned down in cold blood by the land mafia. He had spent the last two decades fighting to save what is left of an amenity park in a congested section of this unfortunate city...

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  • Advocate Malik Jarrar Hussain
    Advocate Malik Jarar Hussain Friday (morning), February 08, 2013, Advocate Malik Jarar Hussain, a resource person of Shehri-CBE in Peshawar killed while dropping his kids to school. His crime being a shia human rights activist. He regularly participated Shehri Police Training workshops in Peshawar and delivered lectures on Human Rights.

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  • Post
    Public Interest Litigation The way forward: Today, great concerned citizens and great judges of Pakistan must pay the price for such responsibility to the public interest. Judges live in built environment of Karachi: Witnesses to the loot and pillage, entirely aware of problems of society, affected observers of environmental degradation...
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  • Illegal commercialization in Karachi
    Illegal Commercialization In the past few years the residential areas of Karachi have been encroached by commercial offices / shops / unlawful buildings. This has destroyed many residential zones turning whole areas into commercial districts. What are the causes of the illegal encroachments in residential areas?...
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  • Makro Order
    Makro Order 15 feb,2024: Qazi Fiaz Isa, Mr. Wasim Sajjad states that this Civil Review Petition is filed against the judgement dated 18 Decemeber 2009 and has recieved instructions to withdraw the said review petition. The application for withdrawal is allowed and Civil Review Petition No.10/2010 is dismissed as withdrawn.
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