• 28 November 2017

    Surfing the net, my eyes caught Minutes of the meeting of the Advisory Council held on 30.08.2015 in the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis. The representatives of organizations concerned with the Overseas Pakistanis affairs attended it. Reviewing the progress on the decisions taken in the previous meeting held in the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat, it was noted that the directives of the Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis (Federal Ombudsman Secretariat), on the development of websites of the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis, Bureau of Immigration & Overseas Employment etc could not be implemented due to non availability of technical expertise. Reading it, this acute diabetic and fragile, for the last 4 days having acute sore throat cough watering nose flew sneezing and shivering, could not stop his abrupt uncontrolled laughter, which in turn, cleared his throat from blocking sputum which otherwise antibiotic could not.

    1. This senior citizen with 50 year rich varied high office experience, could never understand as to why after establishing earlier, and in presence of a “Dedicated Complaint Cell for Overseas Pakistanis in the Federal Ombudsman Secretariat headed by the ex Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabic (Mr Sher Afghan, named perhaps), what was the “real” need of establishing another Grievance Commissioner? Perhaps this “not understanding” is because I am from amongst the general fool masses, whereas for such high caliber wisdom related things there is an old phrase “جانے ہی علم دین کی علم دین”. During 1980s and 1990s when there was no concept of “separate” cell or any Grievance Commissioner for the Overseas Pakistanis, I must raised more than a hundred complaints mostly of collective interest. Nuclear waste carrying ship heading towards Pakistan was stopped, amendments in Foreign Exchange rules affecting Overseas Pakistanis were made, unclaimed dormant accounts were ordered to be made public through newspapers, children fee on Passports was amended, 24-hours banking booths were established inside airports departure lounges etc; all raised by me but in all these complicated cases never ever even once I was summoned by the then Federal Ombudsman to come personally to Pakistan in the Hearing. Came Overseas Pakistanis separate cell and Grievance Commissioner, the meaning of justice “free and at door steps” stood changed. For example, last year National Savings did not provide me a free of cost distributed application Form. For the benefit of collective interest of Overseas Pakistanis, I filed the complaint with the Federal Ombudsman. Prompt, came a Hearing notice requiring me to come to Karachi which was a prescription of Rs. 2 lac (for me in the middle east, for a complaint from USA Rs. 5 lacs). This is the new translation or meeting of “free at door step”. I asked my nephew in Pakistan, on his way to office fetch a free Form and post it to me. He spent Rs. 30 on postage and I got it thus saving Rs. 199,970 which otherwise the ombudsman wanted me to spend. It did not surprise this senior citizen at all. Those who get huge from poor peoples fund “Eid Bons”, they can like French Queen rightly in their wisdom take Rs. 2 lac just a nominal insignificant amount.

    2. This so big laugher was on reading that he, who, had directed the development of the websites, his own official website (Grievance Commissioner’s) http://overseaspakistanis.ombudsman.gov.pk itself is not functional for the last about two years. Before ending these lines, a few minute ago, I re-visited Grievance Commissioner’s own site which still today 27 November 2017 is not accessible. When this website was established, I visited it and found some good material. This website without any doubt was established on huge national expense and must be incurring huge on its relevant webmaster team. Before my eyes catching these Minutes, a few minutes earlier to that I saw a letter to the Editor from a student. He complained that most of the Government websites contained old obsolete information. He quoted that for his research relating to his agricultural degree, he could find incomplete and old information on the agricultural department website.

    3. A question often is asked what actually ailed our country? Answer is very simple that everyone worth of his salt who advises the others to do this and don’t that, himself always takes himself exempt from purview of that do & don’t. For example Nawaz Sharif tours abroad, advises Pakistanis and foreigners there to invest in Pakistan where, according to him, their investment was very safe. Acting on his own advice, he himself, however, keeps all his savings abroad! Take another example. Purchase of high capacity cars was then banned for the government offices. When in his press conference, the reporters questioned the then Federal Ombudsman Mr. Usman Ali Shah as to how he purchased one in violation of the government ban, he became angry retorting back that these reporters were blind that they were taking note of “just a small violation of his” but were not seeing the volume of work he was doing. He further denied that there was any tape recorder in his new car as the Government rules did not allow that. After the press conference, when Mr. Usman Ali Shah was leaving in his car, the reporters gathered around the car and signaled to the naked visible installed tape-recorder. The angry Ombudsman, the protector of citizens rights, at this shouted that he could take contempt notice again these reporters.

    4. One often reads or listens in the talk show debates where all that huge foreign loans or grants are “utilized”. I have at least more than half a dozen time, though can’t quote reference, read or heard in talk shows, that the world bank donation for reformation of justice was spent mostly on meetings, seminars, renovations and tours. It appears right as reformation done does not appear visible anywhere.

    5. In 2011 the World Bank donated a large sum for reformation of the ombudsman system in Pakistan. Accordingly, a “Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman” was created. The Tax Ombudsman was elected as President of the Forum. What this Forum practically brought reforms? What improvement this Forum brought in the “working” of the ombudsman system in Pakistan? Perhaps no one can definitely table. On what reformation the world bank donation was “applied”? Independent children complaint cells both in Federal and Provincial Ombudsman Secretariats were “established” including at district levels. Children of our country started filing their complaints, there can’t be more cruel thing to say than that. This sick senior citizen might with a bit pain trace out a photograph of such a children complaint cell, giving sick vomiting feeling, seeing that the Cell enjoying on world bank donation did not know even the correct spelling of “children” for whom it claimed worked.

    6. Did the Forum bring any change for the ordinary masses? Yes, of course. I typed my complaint on “Word 2010” in UK English version on a costly laptop, printed it on high quality lazar printer. It was rejected by the Federal Ombudsman saying that a complaint should be “in writing”. I addressed a complaint to “The Honourable Federal Ombudsman”. It was rejected on the ground that a complaint should be addressed to the “Wafaqi Mohtasib”. This is change practically came!!! On the official website of the Wafaqi Mohtasib, the title embodied is as “Federal Ombudsman” as well as on the 1982 Ordinance establishing the system. Sometime this 70 plus in his this old age realizes perhaps his adding the word “Honourable” was unnecessary hence rejection.

    7. An ombudsman office high executive (Grievance Commissioner) directs others for developing or updating their websites. The website of the “Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman” today Monday the 27 November 2017 displays Mr. Anisul Hassan Moosvi as the Banking Mohtasib whereas, as far as this ordinary knows, he retired in May 2017 as a news item then appeared with photograph showing him sitting with the President of Pakistan paying on his welfare call. Who is the new Banking Mohtasib in his place, at least I could not trace the information from the Banking Mohtasib website. The Forum’s quarterly newsletter July-September 2017 has just been published on 01.10.2017. Adding another feather to web-technology efficiency, has till today the 27 November 2017 not been uploaded by the efficient Forum and its web-master team on the Forum’s official website. This newsletter quotes Mr. Anisul Hassan Moosvi as Banking Mohtasib which suggests that though his tenure is complete, he still is working awaiting the new comer to take charge. The Forum website further showing its “efficiency” displays today the 27 November 2017 Mr. Muhammad Salman Faruqui as the Wafaqi Mohtasib, whereas he retired February 2017 and in lieu Mr. Syed Tahir Shahbaz since then has taken charge of. This Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman is housed in the office building of the Federal Tax Ombudsman. A complete separate official set up is present. The Federal Tax Ombudsman is the President of the Forum. Even then, despite remaining in the same building the Forum does not know that Mr. Abdur Rauf Chudhry, has gone and Mr. Mushtaq Sukhera has taken charge as Federal Tax Ombudsman (and perhaps as per principle is now the President of the Forum”.

    8. Take, as a specimen, the website of Banking Mohtasib Pakistan http://bankingmohtasib.gov.pk. May 2017, when the outgoing Banking Mohtasib Mr. Anisul Hassan Moosvi, sitting in front of His Excellency the President of Pakistan, was singing his performance during his farewell call, he believed, as showed on his official website, that after relinquishing his charge by Mr. Javed Sadiq in 2010 the post of the Federal Ombudsman was “continuously vacant”. Even today the Banking Mohtasib firmly stands on his this information. I am sure during 2013-17, the Banking Mohtasib must had many a time met Muhammad Salman Faruqui, even then he did not know that Faruqui was the Federal Ombudsman. This banking mohtasib website today 27 November 2017 shows Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Suddle as the present Federal Tax Ombudsman whereas the fact is not just Dr. Suddle, even Mr. Abdur Rauf Chudhry taking charge of Federal Tax Ombudsman from Dr. Suddle too has gone. The banking mohtasib or his office does not know that since months Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Sukhera, on whose appointment the talk shows made comments, is on the chair of the Federal Tax Ombudsman. Today 27 November 2017 the Banking Mohtasib, as per his website, believes Mr. Azhar Ali Faruqui is the Federal Insurance Ombudsman. Whereas in November 2015 Mr. Raeesuddin Parach took oath as the new Federal Insurance Ombudsman. I am sure Mr. Anis the then Banking Mohtasib must had been present in the oath taking ceremony in the presidency. And etc. The Government website are supposed to display update official information. The students, functionaries and researchers take required information from these sites. In 2013 the Law changed and Appeal against the Findings of the Banking Mohtasib shifted before the President of Pakistan instead of earlier State Bank of Pakistan. The Banking Mohtasib Pakistan including a large army of advisors, senior advisors and consultants even “today” don’t know this Law relating to their own office and their official website misguides the complainants to file Appeals with SBP. I myself was misled by this info and got my right of Appeal time barred.

    9. Almost every website, a governmental or a private, keeps prominently a link or section under the label like “Latest Update or What is New”. Today 27 November 2017 the “new and update” for the Banking Mohtasib is March 2013 item re appointment of Mr. Anisul Hassan Moosvi as Banking Mohtasib. He retired in February 2017 but still the “new and update” for the Banking Mohtasib, this appointment and taking charge of. During all this four and half years there had not been anything new or important than the four years old appointment news.

    10. It is generally said that in old age one becomes again a child and, as such, talks childish foolishly. In the meeting, the chair desired that the Overseas Pakistanis Foundation who had the technical expertise to send its web developers to the Ministry to do the needful. This 70 surely is not just a fool, but a bloody fool, that is why he childishly wonders as to why the learned Grievance Commissioner for Overseas Pakistanis did not ask the same OPF technical term to “repair” his website not-working since about two years.

    11. The other day well known anchors Rauf Klasra and Amar Mateen discussing the unprecedented fog in Lahore due to criminal killing of environment by (زکوٹا جن), said that where in the world the fog reached to 380 degree, the whole city under the universal practice is get evacuated. They said in Lahore it was around 750 degree. They summarized that Advocate Harris, Chief Secretary Punjab and other Federal & Provincial Secretaries/Departmental Chiefs needed to be summoned by Apex Court and, if there is any real intent to save our-children generation, “straightaway” send them all direct to jail as now there is no national time to waste in deliberating hearings as criminal-negligence is nakedly proven. This senior citizen in his age group called generally “hanging legs in the grave”, firmly believes that if this country is to be saved, without any further deliberations, the Secretariat-Secretaries of Banking Mohtasib and the Forum including advisors, consultants, Commissioner, web-teams; all be sent to jail as they have not just visibly failed in their duty to keep these costly websites updated to provide public true information but also on account that these errant let the national money spent go criminally wasted. If a website due to non availability of any technical-assistance gets delayed in “development”, that is one thing which though should not be, but an already fully developed functional website going dead appearing to be for good, is more serious and to me fetches criminal proceeding if anyone in a Government is honest to the public money. In Such a straight action, may perhaps, bring the derailed country back on track. I am more thank confident, it is just a wishful thinking of a fool as during his life nothing like that is going to ever happen.

    12. PS: This senior citizen whose civic spirt the then Ombudsman many a time appreciated, with his 75% blindness after losing an eye in operation, has without any pre drafting or post checking playing with key board has just scribbled it. Hence error or inconsistency expected for which apologies.