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Jokingjustice

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By Joking Justice – January 26, 2021

About a month or so I read a small news item that the World Bank was donating a High Court for reforms. The day this news appeared I had some giddiness/vertigo when I was immediately taken by my family to the Emergency where different tests and ECG were taken. Coming back home still feeling extreme weakness, in an attempt to divert my attention I started reading lying on the bed. I could not control my abrupt laughter reading the above small news which not just softened my tense nerves but also quite relaxed my stress. This too old acute diabetic since four decades when due to over age is in stress, starts reading high quality offset printed fine bound annual reports of our Ombudsmen system to get some laughter to get relieved from pain and stress.

2. So often on the topic of our justice system, we hear the participants in talk shows saying that years back the World Bank donated for reformation of our justice system, which donation, according these participants in debate, was mostly spent on renovations, travel, TA/DA, seminars, meetings etc reformation cry remaining always fresh.

3. In 2011 the World Bank extended a similar donation for reformation of ombudsman system in Pakistan. As is usual in our beloved home, on big money coming in hand, a Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman was established under the hands of the same very people who were actually heading the institutions aimed at reformation with this donation. Federal Tax Ombudsman was taken as President of the Forum and the Punjab Ombudsman as Secretary of the Forum. A website of the Forum was established, of course with donation money. What reformation practically took birth? Summoning of Overseas Pakistanis for Hearings to get “free and at door step justice” on huge travel expense started in the Federal Ombudsman Office. In the name of improvement, induction of retired old under the label of consultants, advisers started; in the words of Javed Hafeez ex-Ambassador Pakistan “60 above are re-employed in the Federal Ombudsman Office in the age when one generally forgets what he took that morning in the breakfast”.

4. What real practical reformation was done? There is a universal saying that taste of pudding is in eating. Mr. Ajaz Ali Khan is current Sindh Ombudsman while the reformation manufacturing Forum’s website till today names with his photo Asad Ashraf Malik as the current Sindh Ombudsman who has long gone home after enjoying renewed tenure though the concept of ombudsman in Pakistan did not stipulate. It is more than a year Dr. Muhammad Khawar Jameel having taken oath as Federal Insurance Ombudsman. The reformation chrome plating Forum website shows M. Raeesuddin Paracha as the Ombudsman who has gone home. Till today Mr. Anisul Hassnain Moosvi is shown as Banking Mohtasib & Treasurer of the Forum. While on the other hand Mr. Muhammad Kamran Shehzad as per the Banking Mohtasib Pakistan own website is the current banking mohtasib since July 2019 which fact, however, the efficient ombudsman himself does not appear to know that he was today the Treasurer of the Forum and when on tour to Islamabad on expense of we the citizens does not remember to raise his voice in the Forum as to why his name as Treasurer was still not being shown. The Banking Mohtasib who is to issue his “Decisions” on complaints of we the hapless banking customers still believes that Mr. Azhar Ali Farooqui, Mr. Asad Asraf Malik and Mr. Akbar Ali Baloch are sitting in the Forum meetings on the seats of Federal Insurance Ombudsman, Sindh Ombudsman and Ombudsman Balocistan respectively. In addition he sees seats of Federal and Ombudsman AJ&K unoccupied as he believes the positions are still remaining vacant. According to official website of the Ombudsman Azad Jammu & Kashmir Mr. Zafar Hussain Mirza is the Ombudsman while the efficient reformer Forum website under the Presidentship of the Forum (Federal Tax Ombudsman) names Mumtaz Hussain Naqvi the ombudsman AJ&K.

5. Major (Retd.) Azam Suleman Khan today is the Punjab Ombudsman since July 2020 but reformer Forum is still showing with his photo Mr. Najam Saeed as Punjab Ombudsman and Secretary of the Forum” while it is more than six months he has gone home. A Secretary in a Ministry, in a Board, in a Club or in an Association is the post important figure on whose should smooth administratively running of the institution rest. The point to ponder for real judicious researchers and for any real serious society and country for a study is that the Punjab Ombudsman who by setup is Secretary to the Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman has not cared to see that the Forum of which he was officially a Secretary till today is not displaying his name. The more serious is he keeps attending the Forum meetings; Meetings!

6. Mid 1980s Pakistan Post introduced a very fine scheme named Urgent Mail Service (UMS). With Rs. 6 a letter was delivered within 24 hours to 14 big cities. It was much cheaper than the private courier services. I knew many mushroom private couriers cheated the public by booking an item at their own rates but used Pakistan Post Urgent Mail Service for actual delivery. I raised an issue that the Banks were madly using costly private couriers leaving equally efficient but cheaper UMS. The Government rule directed Government institutions to patronage state products/services even with ten percent edge but since “private” concerns “spare” enough on PR, the quality service like UMS was ignored. Unlike practice today that had I raised the issue today with the Federal Ombudsman Office it would had at limine been rejected on the ground I was not an aggrieved, the then Federal Ombudsman a real Friend of Citizens, appreciated the issue with the wording that the complainant had raised an important issue. Mr. Jawed Ahmed Legal Advise, I believe, still is working in the Federal Ombudsman Office, can recall this case. In brief, perforce, a meeting of all five commercial banks was scheduled in the office of the demised Pakistan Banking Council where all the banking representatives submitted that they were giving more than enough business to the Pakistan Post. It was a shock that the Pakistan Post representative from Islamabad viz Director International Mail rather than availing the opportunity to boost his departmental business forthwith confirmed this statement of the five bank adding further the words that his department had no complaint in this regard. Despite Pakistan Post having now mostly been computerized has no iota of remotest inkling as to how much Banks were generating dispatch articles for couriers and out of that what percentage to the Post Office. It was unbelievable but what, however, was confusing that as to why Director International Mail came to attend while UMS had nothing to do with international mail and UMS had an independent Head. I was not surprised at all when later a senior officer from GPO Karachi confided me that the Director had to attend some family marriage in Karachi as such influential officer utilized the occasion as an official tour.
7. The Forum started publishing an 8-page quarterly departmental Newsletter. It did not had generally any new innovative material except for a select briefs of meetings, different ombudsmen activities, visits etc with photographs. The last newsletter published by the reformatory Forum was April-June 2017 پھر اس کے بعد چراغوں میں روشنی نہ رہی or perhaps as is custom with us پیسہ حتم کام حتم. When we say پیسہ حتم it does not mean salary. Learned S.M. Zafar once said “Javed, your so much confidence on the ombudsman in effect is your contribution in strengthening the ombudsman system in Pakistan”. This 75 years old having lost an eye in operation offers that last week of each month he can provide a 15-page prototype draft Newsletter for the Forum for it to edit, add its own material and publish on 1st of each month. I will not write or include from my side even a word in the prototype but only a collection, copy paste of different reading material from websites of ombudsmen in Pakistan. It would be a voluntary service from this old man whom the first Ombudsman Pakistan Honourable Mr. Justice Sardar Ahmed more than once advised to remain in touch with his secretariat as, accordingly to him, it gave valuable feedback to his office.
 

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