MINGORA: Civil society members have threatened to take to the streets if the federal government shifted the regional ombudsman office from Malakand division.
They told journalists that the federal government had decided to shift the regional ombudsman office to Manehra from Malakand.
They said that presently the regional ombudsman office was functional in Swat. They said the office was facilitating people of the entire Malakand division.
“We have learnt that the federal government has decided to shift the office to Mansehra on July 30 but we will stand against the decision as it is injustice with the people of Malakan division,” said Arshad Ali, a civil society member, in Mingora.
The local people said that the ombudsman office used to take action against the federal departments following public complaints. They said that the residents of Swat, Buner, Shangla, Dir Lower and Upper, Chitral and Malakand districts were satisfied with the performance of the office.
“People lodge complaints with the regional ombudsman office against the poor performance of federal departments and it solves their problems. I was shocked to know the office was being shifted to other region. It shows that people of Malakand division are not important for the federal government.” said Ifthikhar Ali, another civil society member.
The members of civil society said that instead of opening ombudsman office at district level in Malakand division, the federal government was shifting the sole regional office from the region. They said that it was not acceptable to them.
“We expected that the federal government would establish an ombudsman office in each district of Malakand to provide relief to the people,” said Shakeel Khan, a resident of Mingora.
MNA Ayesha Syed also criticised the decision and said people of Malakand division would oppose the decision and would never allow the department to shift the office. “I will also raise the issue on the assembly floor,” she said.
Published in Dawn, May 21st, 2018