Tuesday April 23, 2024

President Alvi asks ombudsman to intensify awareness drive

March 18, 2023

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday asked the Federal Ombudsman to intensify awareness campaign to inform the people about its role in the provision of speedy and cost-effective justice against the maladministration of federal government organisations.

The president, talking to Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, Ejaz Ahmed Qureshi, who called on him and presented the Annual Report-2022 of the institution, emphasised the need for strengthening the capacity of the Federal Ombudsman and enhancing its reach to the far-flung areas of the country to address the grievances of the people at their doorsteps.

He said that people suffering from the excesses and injustices at the hands of the government’s functionaries needed to be provided immediate relief.

Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi apprised the president about the role and achievements of the Federal Ombudsman in providing justice to the people against the maladministration of government organizations during the year 2022. He informed the president that his institution received an unprecedented 164,174 complaints in 2022 as compared to 110,398 in 2021. Wafaqi Mohtasib disposed of 157,770 complaints in 2022 as compared to 106,732 complaints in 2021 which was an increase of 50%.

He said that the phenomenal growth in the number of complaints and swift disposal of cases showed that the people trusted the institution of ombudsman that was providing them speedy and cost-effective justice.

The federal ombudsman highlighted that one-window facilitation desks had been established at all international airports in Pakistan to address the grievances of Overseas Pakistanis.

He said that 137,647 overseas Pakistanis had been facilitated by the concerned agencies of the government, including NADRA, Passport Office, OPF etc., during 2022. He said that THE Ombudsman had extended its outreach to the far-flung districts by establishing its offices in Mirpur Khas, Khuzdar and Swat as well as the former tribal areas of Kurram and South Waziristan to provide speedy relief to the complainants of those areas.

The federal ombudsman updated the president on his special initiatives regarding Informal Resolution of Disputes (IRD) and Khuli Kutchehris for ensuring better service delivery to the general public.

The complaints were also being heard online when requested by the complainants to provide them justice at their doorstep, he added.

The Federal Ombudsman stated that a 97% increase was recorded in receipt of online complaints.

He underlined that the Ombudsman wanted to further enhance its outreach and strengthen its capacity but was facing financial difficulties.

He also apprised the president that under the Integrated Complaint Resolution (ICR) System, the Federal ombudsman had integrated 183 different agencies of the federal government for facilitating the quick disposal of complaints.