ISLAMABAD: The newly-appointed Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi on Monday hinted at using his suo motu powers to resolve major issues of public interest and address grievances of large section of the population.

Speaking at a press conference, he said he had constituted an advisory committee comprising ex-federal ombudsmen, senior civil servants, personalities from judiciary and law to advise on more efficient activities and performance.

He said that his institution is working for poor man’s support in the country.Public interest issues will be taken up by taking suo motu notice, he said.

“The federal ombudsman secretariat is considered as a poor man’s court which dispenses with free of cost justice in a speedy manner. Now the complainants have been given the option to appear in the hearing proceedings in person or through WhatsApp video link.

“To improve the redressal mechanism; the officers of this secretariat visited the remote areas under Outreach Complaint Resolution (OCR) to provide relief at the doorsteps of the common man and 8,200 complaints were disposed of through this system,” Mr Qureshi said in his first interaction with media after taking charge of his office.

Talking about the performance, he said that Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat has disposed of 1.7 million complaints since its inception.

He said he served this institution over a decade, now he wanted to take the performance of this institution to the new heights by using its power of informal resolution of disputes for small and petty cases of the lower strata.

The services of Wafaqi Mohtasib would be free of cost and speedy in manner and without the services of a lawyer.

He said 28 study reports on systemic issues of different agencies had been prepared which include jails reforms, pension issues, national savings, overseas Pakistanis, Pakistan Post, Margalla Hills National Park, police stations reforms, Kasur child tragedy, education sector reforms.

The Ombudsman has decided to prepare more study reports on systemic issues of agencies.

Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi said that his office had taken a number of measures to prevent and control cyber crimes against children and has introduced an amendment bill for the protection of children rights.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2022

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