ISLAMABAD, May 29 (APP): The Federal Ombudsman has directed the Foreign Office to provide legal and counsellor assistance to 8,833 Pakistanis languishing in more than 65 jails of different countries.

Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis of Federal
Ombudsman Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmed Khokher, in a directive, asked the Foreign Office to formulate a standard operating procedure (SOP) in this regard and ensure better coordination for its implementation, a press release said on Sunday.

He also asked the FO to arrange meetings with ambassadors/high commissioners, posted in Pakistan of these countries where Pakistanis were confined in jails/detention centres.

The Grievance Commissioner, in his letter, said it was “our
legal and moral responsibility to address this issue and provide a mechanism of legal and counsellor’s assistance to Pakistani prisoners on case to case base languishing in foreign jails.”

He directed the Foreign Office to appoint a senior officer
as focal person and prepare the SOP on the subject.

Besides that, he asked for making arrangements of a meeting within two weeks for the input of ambassadors/high commissioners of respective countries where Pakistanis were languishing in jails.

He also directed that SOP along with Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism be submitted to this Secretariat so that thereafter the same would be forwarded to Pakistan’s missions for implementation.

The subject matter is fixed for hearing in Federal Ombudsman secretariat on May 31.