Open letter to Chairman, Federal Pakistan Chamber Garments Industry

Mr. Muhammad Nadeem Bhatti,                                  21 November 2016

Chairman Federal Pakistan Chamber Garments Industry Karachi.

Dear Sir,

پھر قصرِ جہانگیر ہے زنجیر سے خالی

 Your article “Instant justice blessing of God” refers wherein mentioning Wafaqi Mohtasib (in brackets therein you added Federal Ombudsman),  you say that one can file a complaint “in English or Urdu by post or by hand with the Wafaqi Mohtasib”.

  1. Ashfaq Ahmed said that it was the educated who caused damage to this country not the illiterate.  It is quite correct.  Our today’s writers and intellectuals are, mostly, all Qasmees. Nawaz Sharif drove his car without escort/protocol only once two years back.  Atta Qasmi has, with pride, so far thrice mentioned it in his columns.  But as our educated intellectual Qasmees, usually are, he never mentioned even a word about the Rickshaw a week or so later stranded on road-block due to Nawaz Sharif’s protocol.   Wife of the Rickshawala gave birth in miserable condition on the blocked road in the rickshaw and driver had to face court case as he had sinned pleading police to let his rickshaw go to Hospital.
  2. I filed a complaint two months back with the Federal Ombudsman said to be the protector of citizens rights.  It has been refused from formal processing with the objection that it should be “in writing”.   My complaint was typed on Laptop “Microsoft Word 7 professional”, printed on lazar HP and signed with a ball pen costing Rs.  110/-.   My complaint was addressed to “The Honourable Federal Ombudsman”.  It has been rejected on the ground that the complaint should be addressed to “Wafaqi Mohtasib”.  The words “The Honourable” I wrote, perhaps, as it appears, was my mistake, this senior citizen higher secondary school passed can’t understand.
  3. The cause of complaint was that the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation, Islamabad, issued a Final Notice to thousands of Overseas Pakistanis (OPs) on 01 July 2016 to pay their final dues by 30 July 2016 failing which face cancellation of their plots.  How much and on what account these dues were, the Notice did not say.  A harassed labourer when phoned OPF that he had paid full, he was advised to send Rs. 28,000 ORRs. 30,000 as a new boundary wall was to be made.  This word OR from a Governmental organization is meaningful!!   Last date 30 July was a Saturday the official government weekly holiday when the concerned OPF Director Estate was enjoying special weekly breakfast  پراٹھا  والا   مولی  with his family and not in his office to receive Dues.  Hold your breath.  These Notices dated 01 July 2016 were posted on Friday the 29 July 2016 addressed for delivery in different countries world over practically leaving Zero margin.  The Islamabad Post Office date stamp show these letter on last date Saturday 30 July 2016 still were lying there in Islamabad Post Office.   It was not just a cause of individual concern  to me but an issue affecting adversely a larger segment of community. My Notice was sent at my Karachi address, deliberately, despite knowing well I am resident abroad. I was addressed Mrs. ABC Son of (my husband).
  4. Federal Ombudsman (sorry, wafaqi mohtasib) procedure originally stated 3 opportunities to a complainant for rejoinder.  However, investigation officers in the ombudsman office (sorry wafaqi mohtasib office) mostly threatened in their very first communication that in case the return rejoinder from the complainant did not reach by due date the complaint would be closed.  Very long ago once my husband was sitting in a gathering abroad with the Indian Ombudsman.  He enquired if the complainant’s response did not come timely, does the Indian Ombudsman closed the case.  Indian ombudsman replied that he keept on sending reminders to the complainant presuming he may be sick, out of town, on leave, my communication to him or his responding communication to me might have gone lost in mail.  When he, at his own, feels that the complainant was no more interested, then he decided the case on basis of record available in the File rather than closing the file.  However, according to the Indian Ombudsman, if the issue raised by the complainant related to community at large, he then fully pursued the issue as a suo moto treating as having been “initiated” by he himself,  issued his Decision passing the relief to community in large.  In a case where my “Word-7 professional” typed, laser printed and scanned complaint is not accepted on a vague technical ground that a complaint needs to be “in writing”,  this issue involved did not restrict just to this single complainant but affected thousands of Overseas Pakistanis all over the world namely a larger segment of community.
  5. There are frequent news or press conferences on the “achievements” of the Federal Ombudsman office, provincial commissioner for overseas Pakistan, Federal Ombudsman, Special dedicated complaint cell for Overseas Pakistanis, compulsory web-link to the federal Ombudsman on almost each Ministry’s website, Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis seen so often on media; all on cost of we the people of this debit ridden unfortunate nation but “keeping 28 days a written notice on his own table by the Director awaiting to get its validity expire, giving last date which is a holiday and even then threatening cancellation” speaks does not tantamount an act of mal administration, governance and injustice in the eyes of protector of citizens rights viz the Federal Ombudsman.  A wonder Justice Blessing?  Is not it Mr. Bhatti?

With regards,

Mrs. Shahnaz Javed


cc:   Ms. Zeena Shaukat,  Co-Manager Research, Institute of Education & Research, University of the Punjab, Quaid-i-Azam Campus,  Lahore-54590  –  Reference your article “Analysis: Pakistan Expensive course of Justice”.    It was second half of 1980s.  I complained that at Karachi airport passengers coming from up-country for whom Karachi was equally a “پردیس” were looted by custom personnel in the name of law. These passengers brought with them money to cover up a day or two awaiting for availability of next flight/confirmation and hoteling in Karachi.  Unspent money was then taken “unofficially” by customs staff on the ground that the law allowed only Rs.1000 per passenger.  There was a long deliberation. Customs wanted from this complainant “material evidence” etc.  However, against my strong argument their defence could not stand, and as I had prayed, 24-hour banking booths at all international airport in Pakistan were opened where the unspent cash could be deposited.   I myself was not an aggrieved at all being a resident of Karachi.  However, since as yet theجمہوریت کا حسن” has not prevailed in our beloved Pakistan, the then Federal Ombudsman, a true ombudsman, did not reject my complaint on the ground that “you are not an aggrieved” nor did he at any stage asked me to come Pakistan for a “Hearing”.  Today,  ما شاء الله due to over doze of  “جمہوریت کا حسن”  the definitions of many things have changed like that of “in writing”, so much triumphed economic growth’s non visibility in Lalukhet, Ghari-Shahoo, Bhanbra Bazar, Machaar Colony. Likewise definition of “Cheap Justice at doorstep” also has changed.  I repeatedly wrote National Savings Karachi but did not get response.  Non response under the Government Manual is an act of mal administration. My husband complained to the Federal Ombudsman about this attitude of non response.  Immediately the Federal Ombudsman summoned him for a Hearing in Pakistan which meant I had to spend minimum Rs. 1.5 lac (an European complainant Rs. 3 lac) on said to be “free justice”.  In another complaint a Government Department had not upload a prescribed departmental Form on its website.  When complained, the Federal Ombudsman forthwith summoned my complainant husband to come to Karachi for a Hearing against at about Rs. 1.5 minimum expense.  For a “free of cost Form” I needed to travel to Pakistan from abroad just to have a free Form.  I had suggest my husband just spend a Rs. 100 on phone, ask someone in any city in Pakistan to fetch a free Form from any National Saving Center, spend a Rs. 50 on postage and send us. But since my husband belonged to “old orthodox” thinking he believed more on “justice” despite experience that justice today is “bitter”.    Perhaps this summoning to Pakistan was due to any new definition of “Free Justice at Door Step”.

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