ISLAMABAD Presidency is considering three names that include two baboos and a former judge to fill the slot of Federal Ombudsman (Wafaqi Mohtasib), The Nation learnt on Wednesday. As the struggle for grabbing the privileged chair intensifies, former Chief Justice of the Apex Court Abdul Hameed Dogar, Presidents Principal Secretary Salman Farooqui and former Secretary Petroleum Mehmood Saleem Mehmood, who is presently the President of Islamabad Club, are the short-listed candidates vying to win presidencys distinguished favour. Given that Abdul Hameed Dogar had remained the centre-stage of controversies for taking oath as Chief Justice of the Apex Court under Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) when Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency, the Presidency is not likely to give him green signal for his appointment can stir wide public and political reactions. Reportedly, the final choice is to be made from the other two 'contestants, Mehmood Saleem Mehmood and Salman Farooqui. Thanks to his personal association based on old friendship with the President, Farooqui is likely to get the Presidents favour by getting the aforementioned seat irrespective of the fact that he (Farooqui) is an NRO beneficiary and several corruption cases in the NAB are pending against him. Although, the existing laws do not hinder or prohibit the appointment of a bureaucrat as Federal Ombudsman, yet, the powers and privileges, the nature of job and customary practices followed in the past suggest the appointment of a former judge from superior judiciary as most appropriate choice for filling the post of the Federal Ombudsman. With exception to Javed Sadiq Malik who was appointed the Federal Ombudsman by Musharraf due to Maliks close association with the then 'imported Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, all the other three Federal Ombudsmen were the retired judges of Supreme Court of Pakistan. A leading lawyer of superior judiciary argues that if sanity and wisdom are to prevail, the government better pick someone from the former Supreme Court judges like Sardar Raza Khan who has impeccable integrity and reputation unlike those whose names are presently discussed. Sardar Raza Khan retired as Supreme Court judge last year and unlike Justice Dogar, he carries a credible reputation in judicial circles. He as well as several other honourable former judges of the apex court have not been considered altogether for a post they highly deserve, only because of the fact that they are not jialas, jail buddies of ruling politicians or NAB convicts. Be it an infamous baboo, an old buddy, a retired judge, or a diehard jiala, by filling the position of Federal Ombudsman with an individual that stands far below the dignity of this privileged chair, the Government, yet again, is set to repeat its legacy of appointing the blue-eyed and unworthy individuals at key positions who play havoc with merit and make mockery of rule of law.