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President Mamnoon Hussain said the institution of Ombudsman is not new in Pakistan’s culture. This concept has been present in our society since centuries and has manifested itself in many ways but it has taken a codified shape and form only recently, he added.
The President said it is a matter of great satisfaction that like several countries of the world this institution is also welcomed in Pakistan and that our public is taking recourse to it
in large numbers for the redressal of their grievances.He was confident that the AOA Conference will meet with eminent success and the result of participants’ debate and
deliberations will bring forth new proposals.
In this manner, the President said, the widest exchange of
views among the delegates will not only improve the working and
performance of their respective organizations but also enhance their
stature in the International Ombudsman’s Institution.
He believed that the participants during their stay in
Islamabad will have the opportunity to gain an insight into their
experiences in Pakistan which may enable them to undertake new
experiments of their own in their own countries, according to local
circumstances.
The President said, in this manner, the concept of
accountability will be more widely understood and the process of
redressal of public grievances may become easier and more effective.
The President welcomed the participants of AOA to Pakistan and
hoped their stay in Islamabad will be useful, comfortable and most
enjoyable.
“I feel that the whole Asia has come to the Presidency. It is
a great occasion for us and for all those who always remain in
search of justice,” he remarked.
Federal Ombudsman, M. Salman Faruqui while speaking on the
occasion highlighted the success and achievements of the institution
of Federal Ombudsman in Pakistan.
He said during his short tenure, and despite his prolonged
absence due to illness, 200,000 citizen complaints have been
disposed of, adding, the implementation rate of our decisions is 97%
which is a great satisfaction to the complainants.
Salman Faruqui pointed out that a recent independent
nationwide survey, conducted under the World Bank, to get citizen
feedback on the performance of the Federal Ombudsman, 90% rated it
as good or very good, and respondents acknowledged that our 100%
decisions were finalized in less than 60 days.
He further said that there were only 0.36% representations
against the decisions of Federal Ombudsman submitted to the
President by the aggrieved complainants or government agencies.
“On expert legal advice you (the President) were pleased to uphold 95%
of our decisions,” he added.
The Federal Ombudsman appreciated the President for inaugurating the conference, which he said was testimony to his commitment to the institution of ombudsmanship.
“I have no doubt that all of us including our guests from other Asian countries will cherish this moment a high point of this conference,” he remarked.
Salman Faruqui said there are 12 offices of Ombudsman in Pakistan including 3 for Women against Harassment at Work places.
“This is a giant step which provides relief to millions of women who are at a great disadvantage in a developing country and will also encourage greater participation of women in the work force,” he added.
Chief Ombudsman of Thailand, Professor Siracha Vongsarayankura
in his remarks of the occasion congratulated the Federal Ombudsman
for hosting the AOA conference.
He hoped that the conference through interaction and sharing of each other’s experiences will help tackle the various challenges confronted by the Ombudsmen in the dispensation of quick and inexpensive justice to citizens across the Asian region.