The federal ombudsman has directed the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to share details of lost luggage complaints from all international airports of the country. The ombudsman also sought records of the luggage claimed by international airlines over the last year.
The direction came in response to a public petition filed by a citizen who lost his luggage during travelling, prompting him to request the ombudsman to take action against the aviation authority.
While accepting the petition, the ombudsman called for a detailed report in two weeks. He also asked the authority to devise a strategy in order to avoid such incidents in the future.
Hafiz Ahsaan Ahmed Khokhar, who is a senior law and grievance commissioner for overseas Pakistanis at the federal ombudsman secretariat, told The Express Tribune that the ombudsman had also sought details from the authority about how many claims of lost luggage were pending and how many were settled since 2015. The authority has been directed to explain why complaints are pending and what measures are being taken in this regard.
The ombudsman also suggested the CAA conduct short courses for its employees, which would help them serve the public more efficiently. He also said that the courses should start from the next week at all airports of the country.
Artificial drug shortage
The ombudsman also took notice of the artificial shortage of life-saving drugs and hike in their prices in the country. He also constituted a 13-member committee to identify the reasons for not implementing the essential drug scheme.
The committee will study the current situation of the essential drugs in public and private sectors and also suggest the mechanism for prompt implementation of the essential drug scheme. The ombudsman observed that about half of all Pakistanis does not have access to essential drugs due to non-implementation of the policies.
Lt-Gen (retd) Mahmood Ahmad Akhtar, who is the former surgeon general of the Pakistan Army, will be the chairman of the committee, while senior adviser for the federal ombudsman, Jawed Akhtar, will be the secretary.
The committee will also recommend measures as to how good quality life-saving drugs can be made available to the public at affordable rates.
In 1997, the government formulated a national drug policy, as well as a national health policy. One of the main objectives of the policy was to develop and promote the concept of essential drugs.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2016.