Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan Addresses Baku International Conference On The Role Of Ombudsmen And The National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIS) At Baku City.

The Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi addressed the Baku International Conference on the role of Ombudsmen and NHRIs held on 19 October 2022 at Baku city. The Conference marked the 20th Anniversary of the establishment of the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The Conference was attended by a large number of international delegations, representatives of international bodies, academia and the civil society. While congratulating his counterpart on the successful completion of 20 years of this institution in Azerbaijan, Mr. Qureshi expressed confidence that the steady growth of this institutions offered a great promise for the future. He added that the Baku Conference was taking place soon after the two other important events i.e. Board of Directors of the Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) and the General Assembly of OIC Ombudsman Association. Mr. Qureshi said that such events manifested the centrality of ombudsmanship across the globe as an effective mechanism for promoting the rule of law, good governance, justice and fair play in the daily life of a common man. The ombudsman institutions today constitute a universal fraternity that makes a strong case for greater interaction and mutual cooperation in pursuit of their common goals and aspirations.

          Addressing the Conference, Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi stated that maladministration and bad governance are two sides of the same coin. Both breed in an environment of favouritism, discrimination, corruption and exploitation where human rights is the first casualty. Maladministration grows in the absence of human rights while the continued violation of human rights further erodes the system of accountability and dispensation of justice. The role of ombudsman institutions and NHRIs in breaking this vicious circle is fundamental to establishing the role of law and good governance in any society.

           Mr. Qureshi stated that in Pakistan, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman  was established on 24 January 1983 vide President’s Order No. 1 of 1983 with the explicit objective to diagnose, investigate, rectify and redress public grievances against maladministration by government agencies. Its mandate flows from the Constitution of Pakistan which entrusts the State with the responsibility to ensure inexpensive and expeditious justice to the public. He added that the Federal Ombudsman’s institution in Pakistan shall be celebrating forty years of its establishment in January next year. In this long journey, it has established its credentials as an effective instrument for providing speedy and inexpensive administrative justice to the people and addressed over 1.8 million complaints since its inception out of which around 117,194 complaints have been disposed of during the first ten months of the current year, alone. Besides, the Head Office in Islamabad, 15 Regional Office in different parts of the country are performing their statutory functions. The Federal Ombudsman’s Office has over the years perfected its complaint handling mechanism comprising investigation, appraisal, review and implementation of decisions. It is now fully capable of resolving complaints of maladministration in large members, reaching out to the complainants and holding public hearings at their doorsteps, informal resolution of disputes, inspection of various government agencies to improve service delivery studying the root causes of maladministration and recommending preventive measures.

The objectives and purposes of the establishment of this institution, therefore, have a direct bearing on the realization of the overall goals of the promotion and protection of human rights and good governance in all spheres of the life.