Ombudsman making a mark

FEDERAL Ombudsman Salman Faruqui has undertaken another initiative to streamline working of his institution and address grievances of the general public. He has started hearing of complains of overseas Pakistanis on Skype and in one such example helped resolve problem of an overseas Pakistani concerning Pakistan consulate in New York.
This is in addition to Grievances Commissioner Cell established at the Ombudsman’s Secretariat in Islamabad, which has been actively pursuing the issues and grievances of overseas Pakistanis vis-à-vis different government agencies and departments. It is good that the Ombudsman has also started use of latest technology to ensure swift redressal of complaints of overseas Pakistanis. It is understood that overseas Pakistanis are spread all over the globe and reaching out to them through routine communication means causes considerable delay in disposal of such complaints but use of applications like Skype, WhatsApp and imo would bring about a substantial change as it would also convey a firm message to officials of Pakistani missions abroad that accountability and monitoring is just a call away. Ombudsman is also rendering a good service in promotion of good governance in the country as it hears thousands of cases and dispenses justice to the aggrieved citizens. However, it has been observed that government departments pay little heed to implementation of the verdicts of the Ombudsman creating resentment and frustration among aggrieved people. This is despite the fact that the institution of Ombudsman has served as an impartial source of dispute resolution and helps prevent unnecessary litigation, thereby taking away a huge burden of normal courts. With this in view, we would urge the Government to direct all Ministries, organizations and departments to implement decisions of the Ombudsman promptly and in letter and spirit. We would also expect the Ombudsman to strengthen its own monitoring and implementation system and evolve a set of punitive measures against violators.

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