Bad governance breeds environment of favouritism: Ombudsman.

ISLAMABAD -- Federal Ombudsman Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi on Tuesday said maladministration and bad governance bred an environment of favoritism, discrimination and corruption.

An efficient administration was essential for ensuring the sanctity of human rights and achieving the ultimate goals of good governance and the rule of law, he said while addressing a press conference in connection with the 40th year of the establishment of the institution of Federal Ombudsman in Pakistan.

Ejaz Qureshi said the ombudsman's institution had evolved over the years and "is recognized today as an essential feature of every modern democratic society". However, its structure, scope and powers varied from one society to another and were directly related to the larger social, political and legal systems being followed in that country.

The ombudsman institutions around the world, he said, "act in support of supreme judiciary and contribute in making dispensation of justice more accessible and inexpensive."

Likewise, he added, the Wafaqi Mohtasib's institution was fundamentally the poor man's court in Pakistan. "It is not an alternative to the supreme judiciary but plays a complementary role."

He said the government expenditure per complainant in disposing of the complaints through Wafaqi Mohtasib "construes a negligible amount, thus it is the most cost-effective way of providing relief to the common man".

He said the people's trust had immensely increased in institution resulting in a dramatic increase in the registration of complaints. Complaints worth over Rs 3 billion of disputed amounts were addressed by his office during the last year, which otherwise would have added a burden to the civil courts, he added.

Ejaz Qureshi said more than 1.9 million households had benefitted from the the Wafaqi Mohtasib's institution since its inception 40 years ago.

He said during the year 2022, the number of complaints increased from 110,405 in 2021 to the highest-ever number of 164,174 (49 per cent raise) and disposal reached an all-time high of 157,770, marking an increase of 47.7 per cent over the figures of the previous year.

About 137,423 complaints of the overseas Pakistanis were also resolved in 2022 with an increase of 133 per cent as compared to 2021, he added.

Ejaz Qureshi lauded the services of his predecessors, who, he said, had contributed in developing the institution into a premier institution of administrative accountability in the country.

He said the Office of...

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