The Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan has said that the AJK Ombudsman is playing an important role to ensure good governance, speedy and inexpensive justice, and administrative reforms in the liberated territory. “Besides addressing complaints against various state departments and organizations, it is serving as a bridge between the people and the government functionaries,” he added.
He was speaking to AJK ombudsman Zafar Hussain Mirza who called on him at Aiwan-e-Sadar on Thursday. The state president said that the ombudsman’s institution has removed complaints of thousands of people within a short span and has not only reduced burden on the judiciary but also earned people’s confidence.
The state president greeted the federal ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz for his election as the president of Asian Ombudsmen’s Association, and also greeted Zafar Hussain Mirza for representing Azad Jammu and Kashmir for the first time on this international forum. He said that this forum should be used to highlight the worst human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.
Earlier, the state ombudsman told the AJK president that is institution has since long been facing the problems of shortage of office accommodation, official transport and the space for regional offices. Before 2005 earthquake, the Ombudsman’s Secretariat was housing in a complex containing 25 rooms, but the catastrophic earthquake had destroyed it squeezing the secretariat to mere nine rooms which is highly insufficient to perform the office affairs.
Similarly, the non-availability of accommodation in divisional headquarters was also a major hurdle in providing justice to the people at their doorstep. The AJK president assured the ombudsman that hectic efforts would be made to resolve problems of his office as early as possible. Zafar Hussain Mirza gave a detailed briefing to the state president on the Asian Ombudsmen’s conference in Turkey and the representation of Azad Kashmir in it.