• Wafaqi Mohtasib opens Webinar on Informal Resolution of Disputes (IRD)
• Over 1800 cases were resolved in one year through mediation and conciliation.

Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat organized a Webinar on Informal Resolution of Disputes (IRD): Pakistan’s Experience from the platform of Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA) on 14 th June 2023. Inaugurating the Webinar, Wafaqi Mohtasib Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi highlighted  the main features of the IRD system in administering free and expeditious justice to the general public through mediation and conciliation without the necessity of docketing any complaint or issuing any official notice. He stated that the Wafaqi Mohtasib’s institution being  a Poor man’s court, was addressing complaints of maladministration by Federal Agencies in
large numbers. Mr. Qureshi added that the IRD initiative adds value to the services of this institution in addressing issues of maladministration and promoting thereby good governance, the rule of law and the fundamental freedoms.

Addressing the participants, Wafaqi Mohtasib Mr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi added that the IRD mechanism involves resolution of disputes through mediation and persuasion rather than a decision arrived at through following a strict process or procedure. He emphasized that the IRD system responds to the dire needs of the general public for resolution of dispute at grass roots level without hiring the services of an advocate or waiting for lengthy legal processes. Mr. Qureshi stated that from April 2022 till today, 1911 complaints were received under IRD out of which 1837 have been resolved while 74 are under process.

The Webinar was attended by over 70 participants representing member institutions of the Asian Ombudsman Association including Azerbaijan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and other countries. It was also attended by the representatives of Ombudsmen institutions functioning in the country including Provincial Ombudsman Sindh, Banking Mohtasib, Federal Tax Ombudsman and the Regional Offices of the Wafaqi Mohtasib Secretariat. The Webinar was addressed by Mr. Shahzar Ilahi, Associate Director of ADR Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution in Pakistan. Mr. Justice M. Raza Khan, formerly Chief Justice KPK High Court and the Federal Secretary, Law and Justice Division spoke about the practices and procedures of IRD in the context of Wafaqi Mohtasib’s institution.

Wafaqi MohtasibMr. Ejaz Ahmad Qureshi who is the current President of the Asian Ombudsman Association (AOA), further stated that the Webinar was part of the series of activities planned for promoting professionalism, cooperation and ombudsmanship in Asia and beyond. He offered that Pakistan remained ready to share its expertise and best practices on subjects of professional interest with members of other regional and international ombudsman associations.