LAHORE - The Punjab government posted a retired bureaucrat Najam Saeed as new Ombudsman. The new office bearer resumed office after taking oath. Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana took oath.

The office was empty after former ombudsman Javed Mehmood resigned after differences emerged with PML-N government. Later, Javed Mehmood, established a political party, Roshan Pakistan League.

Sources close to the new ombudsman said that Saeed had resigned as advisor after he had differences with the then Ombudsman Javed Mehmood.

The Punjab government gave additional charge of the Ombudsman office to Secretary Law Syed Najamul Hasan Najmi as stop gap arrangement. It was thought that Najmi might continue as Punjab Ombudsman as he was serving as Law department head after retirement.

Many circles including the bureaucrats criticise Najmi’s grabbing the important slot of Secretary Law and Parliamentary Affairs department. Najmi succeeded gaining extension in his tenure after completion of every extension.

New Ombudsman Saeed is a retired DMG officer with ample administrative experience. He served as Special Secretary Finance, Secretary Special Education, Secretary Auqaf, and Member Board of Revenue. After retirement, he also served on different assignments like in Advisor Ombudsman, Member Punjab Services Tribunal. He also served as chairman of CM’s monitoring team. Before appointment as Ombudsman Punjab, Saeed was working as Chairman LDA commission.

Najam Saeed headed the fact finding committee formed by the Punjab government tasked to probe the Rawalpindi tragedy on 10th Moharram and tried to determine the facts with the help of videos and evidence collected from the location. His team in its report had held the district administration and police responsible for the tragedy.

The Secretary to Ombudsman Mumtaz Hussain Zahid, Registrar Farooq Syed, advisors and other staff welcomed the new ombudsman.

It was not clear whether he would continue the fight former Ombudsman Javed Mehmood had started with the Punjab government on creation of new seats in districts and allocation of more budget to give speedy relief to people.

The CM’s office, the governor house and the bureaucracy were not cooperating with him. Mehmood had taken historic steps for free and fair justice. He had passed strict orders against government officers.