WAFAQI MOHTASIB (OMBUDSMAN)'S SECRETARIAT ISLAMABAD

Islamabad, the 2nd May, 2019

PRESS RELEASE

President Dr Arif Alvi Thursday said that only those nations could achieve success, which stood against the oppression and injustices in the society, particularly against their destitute people.

Addressing a public awareness seminar and launching ceremony of new website and mobile application of Federal Ombudsman here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the president urged the people and media to highlight the positive image of the country instead of demeaning and degrading it.

Speaking high of the performance of the Federal Ombudsman, the president said the disposal of 99 percent cases within 60 days period was a remarkable achievement. The implementation ratio of 95 percent of Federal Ombudsman’s decisions was also laudable.

He told the audience that less than one percent of the representations were made to the president against the Ombudsman’s decisions which he disposed of within a day.

The president who earlier launched an interactive and mobile-friendly version of the Ombudsman’s website and a mobile application to enhance its outreach, said the number of applicants could touch even a million mark if they were made aware of the functioning of the office.

He said the justice was fundamental right of the people and advised the Ombudsman to use the tools of electronic, print and social media to enhance their outreach and highlight their decisions.

He said amid a new phenomenon of fake news, there was a need for using the medium for positive gains. He said in coordination with Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), the presidency would encourage the television channels dedicating their maximum airtime for social messaging.

In his welcome address, Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz said the current year would be observed for public awareness. He said Wafaqi Mohtasib received above 70,000 complaints during year 2018 against various agencies.

Twelve regional offices also performed to address public complaints at their offices besides visiting different districts and tehsils, he added.

He said a media strategic group had been formed to highlight the achievements of the Mohtasib. He said the new website and mobile application would also make the filing and tracking of the applications easier.

In a presentation, Senior Advisor Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi said the role of Wafaqi Mohtasib was crucial amid the challenges of governance and overburdened courts.

He said the Wafaqi Mohtasib catered to the public complaints against any agency with even one percent share of the government that had widened its scope of functioning.

He said as per law, the Mohtasib disposed of a case within 60 days and appeal within 45 days. He said under an integrated complaints system, the public complaints pending with the agencies were automatically transferred to the Ombudsman if it remained unresolved for 30 days.

He also apprised the audience about the comprehensive reports compiled by the Mohtasib on various subjects of public interest including child abuse, state of prisoners besides setting up facilitation desk for overseas Pakistanis at airports and released Rs44 million for destitute prisoners.

Besides, he said a National Commissioner for Children had been appointed which would serve to protect children’s rights until a Children Mohtasib was formed to address the complaints of the children below 18 years.

Earlier, the president presented shields to the two former Federal Ombudsmen Usman Shah and Imtiaz Sahibzada and received a souvenir from Wafaqi Mohtasib Syed Tahir Shahbaz.