Wafaqi Mohtasib, Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistani

Islamabad, December 20, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Wafaqi Mohtasib, Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistani and other government department dealing with the overseas Pakistanis participated. This was done first time in the country. Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, Grievance Commissioner for overseas Pakistanis highlighted the initiatives taken by the Wafaqi Mohtasib in the country. He said that average annual disposal from 1983-2013 was 16,500 complaints in a year.

Average time taken for disposal ranged from 6 months to 10 years. In 2013 the backlog was 75000 cases. However thereafter with the special initiative by the Ombudsman 74,748 cases were decided in 2013. In 2014 the figure rose to 76,878 and from 2015-upto 20 Dec 2016 it touched the figure of 1, 26,451. 80,164 cases of Overseas Pakistanis were resolved under Art 33 (P.O. No1 of 1983). Thus the total figure comes to 3, 58,241.

Continuing the new initiatives of the Ombudsman he said that no time limit for Disposal of complaints has been fixed to 45 days only. An Implementation Cell has been established in the secretariat. The Investigation officers are asked for encouragement to mediation. For effective redressed of complaints Grievance Commissioners for Overseas, FATA, Pensioners, Commerce and Children have been appointed. Special Committees have appointed for systemic issues in various departments.

Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar, Grievance Commissioner for overseas Pakistanis further informed the audience that with the efforts of the Waffaqi Mohtasib Secretariat an Automated E-Pension system for government employees have been introduced. Outreach of Wafaqi Mohtasib has been established to Sub Division and District level, where resolution of Complaints is being made within 15 days.

Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmad Khokhar further said that Systemic Issues of NADRA, Passport Department, Foreign Office, OPF and Bureau etc have been resolved. Hearing of Complaints through video link is established. Resolution of issues through Helpline, mobile and emails is also provided. Unified Scanning Policy at International Airports of Pakistan/ Grievances of Overseas Pakistanis living in Italy is started.

Automation and Early Processing of Renunciation of Citizenship Cases is being done. Pending Cases of Passports and NICOP are resolved. Awareness Campaign through Print and Electronic Media is underway so that large number of citizen could avail the opportunity for speedy redressed of their grievances. Foreign Missions are requested to hold Seerat Seminars in Pak. Mission in connection with Birth Day of

Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H). Facilitation in Home Remittances and issuances of FERC Card is in process. Toll free numbers have been activated at different Agencies for Overseas Pakistanis. Advisory Councils have been established in Government Departments.

Heads of Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Overseas Employment Corporation, Bureau of Emigration and Obverses Employment appreciated the initiatives taken by the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat. They assured that all such initiatives would be religiously observed by the respective department. These steps should not only boost the reliance of Pakistani citizen on their departments but also raise confidence of the officers/official working therein.

Mr. Salman Faruqi, Wafaqi Mohtasib said that the organization of the Mohtasib is in fact citizen advocate. The very purpose of creation of the office is to diagnose, investigate, redress and ratify any injustice done to a person. The Ombudsman said that around 8.4 Million Overseas Pakistanis are living and working in around 124 different countries of the World. Theses Overseas Pakistanis are remitting around 20 billion US Dollars to national economy.

For benefit of the Pakistani Diaspora a dedicated Website for Overseas Pakistanis Complaints has been provided which is connected with 40 Federal Government Departments. Focal Persons in 116 Missions have been appointed in addition to one such person in every government department in the country. Ambassadors are now hearing Overseas Pakistanis complaints once a week without any appointment.

Counsellor and legal assistance to Overseas Pakistanis Prisoners is being provided. He emphasized that the Overseas Pakistanis should regularly remain in touch with the Ombudsman Secretariat so that their grievances should be redressed and they could work there in peace of mind.

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