ISLAMABAD - President Dr Arif Alvi has advised the Ombudsman of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to establish close liaison and linkages with the federal ombudspersons of Pakistan to benefit from their expertise and adopt their best practices for providing relief to the public.

He said this while talking to the Ombudsman of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Ch Muhammad Naseem, who called on him, at Aiwan-e-Sadr, on Friday. Secretary Ombudsman AJK, Mr Absar Hussain Jarral, and senior officials of the government also attended the meeting.

The president said that the mandate of the Federal Ombudsperson for Harassment of Women at the Workplace needs to be replicated in AJK to provide justice to the women subjected to harassment at the workplace and to protect and preserve their inheritance and property rights.

He said that AJK ombudsman should especially focus on providing relief to the people of AJK in cases relating to the high-handedness of tax officials, banking and insurance frauds, and maladministration of government agencies.

The president advised the ombudsman AJK to enhance its outreach by encouraging the general public to utilise the latest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools to lodge their complaints online or through telephone without requiring in-person presence.

The president emphasised the need to disseminate newsworthy decisions of the AJK ombudsman through press and social media as a tool to educate the general public about their rights to seek redressal of their complaints and grievances.

The president advised the Ombudsman to encourage the AJK departments and agencies under its jurisdiction to refer their complainants to the ombudsperson for the redressal of their grievances.

Ombudsman AJK briefed the president about the performance and challenges being faced by the institution and required amendments in relevant laws to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the ombudsman.