The 27th Meeting of the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman (FPO) was held on 21 March 2023 in the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat, Islamabad. Dr.Asif Mahmood Jah, Federal Tax Ombudsman/President FPO chaired the meeting.
It was attended by the following members of the FPO: Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi, Federal Ombudsman and President of AOA , Ms. Fauzia Viqar, Federal Ombudsman for Protection Against Harassment at Workplace, Mr. Muhammad Kamran Shehzad, Banking Ombudsman, Mr. Nazar Muhammad Baloch, Provincial Ombudsman Balochistan , Ms. Nabila Khan, Provincial Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace Punjab, Ms. Rukhshanda Naz, Provincial Ombudsperson for Protection against Harassment at Workplace, KPK and Ms. Noor Jahan Maingal, Ombudsperson for Protection Against Harassment at Workplace, Baluchistan, while Syed Tahir Raza Secretary to Provincial Ombudsman Punjab participated on behalf of Ombudsman of Punjab.
Established in April 2011, the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman (FPO) is a non-political, independent and professional network of ombudsmen in Pakistan. Its membership includes, Federal Ombudsman of Pakistan, Ombudsman of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, all Provincial Ombudsmen in Pakistan and Ombudsmen in specialized fields i.e. Banking, Tax matters, Insurance and Protection against Harassment of Women at Workplace.
The FPO operates across Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir for coordinating activities of ombudsman institutions to advance good governance, improve operations, service delivery and effectiveness in their respective areas of competence. The FPO meeting coincided with the 40th anniversary celebrations of the establishment of the institution of Federal Ombudsman in Pakistan. The Forum appreciated that the ombudsmanship has come of age in the country and the institution is working as an effective mechanism for providing speedy and inexpensive justice to the general public against maladministration by Government Agencies.
The meeting took important decisions with a view to strengthening mutual cooperation in promoting core values of administrative propriety, rule of law, good governance and inviolability of human dignity.
The Forum agreed to take concrete steps to create greater awareness among the public about their rights and obligations and the availability of the ombudsman institution for provision of speedy and inexpensive relief against administrative excesses by the governmental agencies.
The FPO meeting reiterated its resolve to act as a platform for promoting the cause of ombudsmanship and robust public opinion against maladministration, discrimination, favouritism, corruption and alike.
The Forum agreed to maintain regular interaction among its member institutions with a view to sharing knowledge and best practices in carrying out statutory role in their respective fields. It decided to establish a dedicated FPO Secretariat to plan, implement and coordinate its activities in a professional manner on sustained basis. The meeting took note of Pakistan’s pivotal role in promoting ombudsmanship at international level.
Currently, Pakistan holds the positions of the President of Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA), Secretary General of the OIC Ombudsman Association (OICOA) and Directors in the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI).
In this regard, FPO expressed its resolve to contribute in strengthening mutual cooperation with its international partners in all fields of professional interest and pursuing the common goals and aspirations of its membership.