ISLAMABAD: Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz urged investigating and senior officers of the Ombudsman’s Secretariat to provide maximum relief to complainants.

While chairing a meeting of senior officers, to review the progress of investigations, Mr Shahbaz said: “Scope of the awareness campaign must be enhanced and all tools in media and social media must be used to sensitise people, particularly those who belong to remote areas, so that they can fight for their rights through Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat.”

Officers should organise meetings with major government agencies to address systemic issues, so that maximum relief could be provided to people, he said, adding investigating officers of regional offices should also frequently visit districts and tehsils to hear public complaints under the Outreach Complaint Resolution Programme.

The grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis, giving a briefing about the progress of prison reforms, said that six quarterly implementation reports had been submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, whereas, all stakeholders completed their legislation process. “Oversight committees have also been fully functional. Punjab has linked nine anti-terrorism courts for video link trials from jails,” he added.

Mr Shahbaz directed for progress reports to be collected from all stakeholders as meetings during the current quarter had not been materialised, due to the pandemic. “Speedy efforts must be ensured to improve the plight of prisoners by changing mindsets,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2020