Salman Farooqui appointed acting ombudsman
ISLAMABAD: Salman Farooqui, secretary general to President Asif Ali Zardari, was appointed acting federal ombudsman on Saturday. According to an announcement, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf assigned additional responsibilities of ombudsman to Mr Faruqui on a temporary basis.
“The responsibility has been given to Salman Farooqui to clear the backlog of 75,000 complaints of people aggrieved of actions or inactions of federal institutions, pending with the Mohtasib for the past over two years,” it said.
The post had been lying vacant since Oct 27, 2010, when then federal ombudsman Javed Malik left the office.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Farooqui said he had been given the charge for two months or so after which a regular ombudsman would be appointed.
However, sources in the government claimed that Mr Faruqui, believed to be a trustworthy aide to President Zardari, would be regularised shortly before the caretaker set-up took over for conducting the general election. In that case, he will be able to retain the post for a period of four years. Later, Mr Farooqui called on the premier who expressed the hope that his vast experience in the government service would help him clear the backlog of cases in the ombudsman office.
Mr Farooqui, who will assume the charge of his new job on Monday, said he had accepted the assignment as a public service and would work in an honorary capacity. The announcement said the temporary assignment would last till the appointment of an ombudsman on a regular basis which was expected soon.