NATIONAL SAVINGS AND FEDERAL OMBUDSMAN

PRACTICAL SIDE OF THEIR LOVE FOR OVERSEAS PAKISTANIS

 

Muhammad Javed

javed-f3A news item appeared in the newspapers, how a meeting was held in the Federal Ombudsman’s Secretariat as a follow up to see the implementation progress on a recommendatory report prepared by a special committee.  The Director General, National Savings informed the meeting that a special scheme for Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) was being chalked out.  Such rosy big mouth announcements from our rulers and National Savings since more than two decades are floated only for file purpose.  National Savings has no interest whatsoever with the OPs.  The organization which can’t extend just a very small gesture like treating OPs returning home permanently after long service attaining age of 60 as “pensioners” entitled for joining “pensioner’s accounts” what else can in practical term be expected from it.  Opening of a Bank Account by an OP through post mail had always been normal feature in the past.  Today no OP can open his Bank Account unless he was personally present in Pakistan and that too if he had brought with him a proof of his earnings abroad.  This has been done for obvious reasons not an issue here.

Some 25 years back I and my wife opened accounts with National Savings at Civic Center Islamabad. In February 2016 we requested these accounts to be transferred to Karachi.  Today July 2016 has started its journey to the end but accounts still are unattended to.   This is a practical naked self-speaking proof how much the organization including the Federal Ombudsman’s office cares for OPs.  A former Pakistani ambassador, who writes both locally and internationally for his livelihood, recently wrote that Babas are appointed as advisors and senior advisors in the ombudsman’s secretariat.  According to the ex-ambassador, mostly at that age one loses true capability of handling intricate nature of jobs.  About non availability of account transfer forms when I approached the Federal Ombudsman, one such senior advisor advised me to appear before her in Karachi in a Hearing (in simple words a prescription of about 2 lac rupees). That means “Justice at Door Step” to get a free of cost account opening form. Perhaps it was because the English writing of this senior citizen (who studied in free municipality school ) was not understandable hence, was summoned to explain personally in Karachi what the complaint was).

 

About meetings, in Arab region there is a very famous Persian phrase “amadand, guftand aur barkhastand” meaning they came, talked (over coffee) and disbursed.

 

Due to the age factor, this senior citizen today can’t recall the reference but remembers exactly once an OP wrote to a Daily newspaper about inattention of a Department.  The OP with his letter sent a Rupee 10 currency note requesting to be given to the concerned officer for the efficiency.  The Editor of the Daily newspaper was the most senior journalist and intellectual, late Irshad Ahmed Haqqani.  He not only wrote a column on that but forward that Rupee 10 currency note to the Head of the same Department.

 

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