The first ever International Ombud Expo 2019 was hosted by the Public Complaint Commissioner (Ombudsman) of Nigeria at Abuja w.e.f 28-31 October, 2019. The Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Aqal Badshah Khattak, was invited as Lead Speaker for the event. Delegates from over 50 Countries attended the first Ombud Expo of 2019 including the undersigned representing Pakistan from Asia.
The Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was given the subject of “Human Rights in the Work of Ombudsman – Issues, Challenges and Prospects” for presentation at the Expo. The Ombudsman briefly presented the subject of Human Rights with reference to Chapter-I of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The following were the highlights of this presentation:
- Human Rights (in brief).
- History of Ombudsman, rooted in Islamic as well as other religious traditions of the World.
- Institution of Ombudsman in Pakistan.
- Institution of Ombudsman in my Province i.e. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- Features of the Institution and legal prospects.
- Strengthening of Ombudsman’s Institution in Pakistan by establishment of Forum of Pakistan Ombudsman (FPO).
- Volume / Causes of complaints related to Human Rights.
- Relief granted to the general public by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ombudsman was presented.
- Complainant’s feedback was shared with the international delegates through presentation.
- At the end issues / challenges were briefly discussed.
The presentation was highly appreciated by the delegates especially by Mr. Steve Onwuasoanya, Human Rights Advisor, Commonwealth Secretariat and Ms. Refiloe Mamogobo, Head Legal and Board Secretary, Central Bank of Eswatini. During the Expo, the Ombudsman was called by the delegates with slogan of “Hello Pakistan” which was an honour for the Country as well as for the Ombudsman.
During the presentation, a question was asked by a delegate regarding the access of Women in lodging complaint to the Ombudsman in Pakistan. It was explained that for the Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa there is a clear provision of law that “any person” (he or she) or through their (he / she) representative (father, brother, son) can lodge a complaint against maladministration committed by a public Agency. All the delegates were highly obliged as in their statute the provision of “representative” was not provided.
Ombudsman Aqal Badshah Khattak thanked and congratulated all the Organizers of the International Ombud Expo 2019 for organizing the event successfully. Special regards paid to the Chief Complaint Commissioner of Nigeria for his hospitality and protocol extended. The security measures extended by the host were also outstanding.
At last it can be said, that the Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gained more by giving little contribution to the Expo.
Source: Provincial Ombudsman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Peshawar, Pakistan