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A Open Letter - Copy of my recent letter sent to Honourable Mr. Irshad Ahmad Haqqani

This 75-80% blind senior citizen diabetic cannot write with pen hence just playing with keyboard with the help of magnifying glass hence with his apologies perforce submits in English.

2. You recently attributed your column to PTCL quoting Jamat-e-Islami’s Lahore Amir saying that PTCL Chief Executive was living since long in a 5 start hotel @ Rs. 80,000 per day on expense of we the subscribers.

3. During 2008 to my memories you wrote 3 columns on PTCL. In one it was your concern that the people silently bear PTCL injustices and no one speaks.

4. Perhaps I am the only subscriber in Pakistan whose telephone file with PTCL is the most voluminous because on each injustice I protested. Till approximately 2000 I got frequently relief from the Federal Ombudsman mainly because till then neither we had 12 billions reserves nor had we entered into the list of top honoured countries nor were we moderately enlightened. Not merely how conscientious citizen I am but also what was our standards of justice till then can be judged from one example. The T&T used to take Rs. 400 Defence savings certificates from every new subscriber as security deposit. Around 1995 I demanded that my long matured Certificates be returned which PTCL refused. Since till then we had not 12 billion reserves hence our bureaucracy including that of ombudsman bureaucracy had humane feeling for the common man and the sense, the Federal Ombudsman did not agree to the refusal of PTCL and ordered that the complainant was speaking sense. PTCL returned me my Rs 400 certificates encashment of which brought me Rs. 13,000. My sense of recognizing my civic rights can be judged from this fact that I am the still perhaps the only one in Pakistan and no Irshad Ahmad Haqqani, no S.M. Zafar, No Hameed Dogar or no Ombudsman Office Consultant/Adviser in any ombudsman office in Pakistan appears to has realized his own civic right namely following this ordinary man getting his matured certificates from PTCL.

5. Through your three columns you spoke your heart that no body was speaking on injustices from PTCL. Just for your information I wish to share with you. A few months back I filed a complaint with the Federal Ombudsman Office that one phone of my family hardly 4 months at an average remains alive but my widow sister pays regularly monthly line rent. No one attends the complaints because locality is of very poor people. Federal Ombudsman Islamabad registered my complaint and advised me for further progress to contact its Karachi Office. It gave me its Karachi office mailing address as well as an email contact. A Consultant in Regional Office (who I am sure must be a retired re-appointed) dealing my complaint addressed a letter seeking certain information. Leave that issue aside that how he sent it to me and does he knew how such letters are sent to the complainants – that is another matter which I have separately raised with the Law Ministry for their interpretation. I replied the Consultant on the same email address which Federal Ombudsman Islamabad provided me. My emails came back un-delivered – you can guess why {you will recall once in your column mentioned that west had taken advantage of web system whereas we have made its shape worst).

7. Haqqani Sahib, since today we are modern enlightened and have incidentally inducted more than required good governance, the Federal Ombudsman closed the case on the ground that the complainant was contacted but he did not give response despite reminderS. It appeared the Federal Ombudsman Office today lacked any sympathies towards the common man but more liking for the bureaucratic procedures and technicalities. I am sure you must be knowing Mr. Hafizur Rehman who was Director General Public Relation Punjab and retired as DG Federal Ombudsman Secretariat. In his weekly column once he wrote that soon the officers in the Federal Ombudsman Office shifted their sympathies from the suffering common man to their counterparts.

8. The Ombudsman Office Consultant who I am sure must have been appointed on same merit we see today, by disposing off my case technically in such a way showed clearly that he did not even know his own office procedure prescribed for dealing of the complaints. Let alone everything put aside, you may be surprised that not merely the Assistant Registrar at Federal Ombudsman Secretariat Islamabad did not know the correct web address of the Consultant I was advised to contact even the Consultant himself perhaps did not know his own web contact address on which my emails came back undelivered.

9. The Ombudsman’s own office procedure required that in case the complainant did not give timely response he would be issued a reminder but this time under registered mail. I was never issued this reminder but case was closed technically on the ground I did not give response timely. The Federal Ombudsman himself does not appear, as it plainly appears, to have seen the File and merely signed the Decision apparently drafted by this Consultant. The Decision says the complainant was issued reminders which reminder in fact I was never issued. In the whole Decision there is no mention of this Registered Reminder’s date which should had come to me.

10. Haqqani Sahib, once I enquired from the Indian Ombudsman in case his office did not receive a timely response, does his office closes the case. His reply was he does not close case taking it that his office communication might not have reached the complainant, the complaint must have given timely reply but did not reach my office, the complainant might be sick or might have gone on leave etc hence my office keeps sending him reminders till I believe the complainant will not give any response. The Indian ombudsman further told me even in such a case he then categorises such a complaint in two categories. One in which the complainant had sought relief for himself in which case his offices decides the case on the strength of available documents. But in case the complaint affects many his office persue the case as a public interest case.

11. My complaint too was a public interest type case because this is story of thousands and thousands whom for long period service is not provided but monthly rent is charged regularly.

12. A person who out of today’s lethargic society takes courage to file a complaint on an injustice and who fights for recovery of Haram taken from his Rizq-e-Hilal can not later become “disinterested” in pursuing the matter but this can not be understood by those who by bad luck of this nation in their retirements re-get service under one label or the other.

13. Haqqani Sahib, people are there who are keen in getting justice, true justice but there is none who could deliver justice.

14. It did not pass through my eyes but someone told me recently a question was raised about the ineffectiveness of ombudsman system.

With best regards from this senior citizen,