This is How Social Media Helped Ayesha Mumtaz Beat Conventional Bureaucracy

One of the most recent social media phenomenons has nothing to do with lame songs or people bashing each other for holding different opinions. We are talking about none other than the exploits of the Punjab Food Authority headed by Ayesha Mumtaz.

In a short space of time, the PFA has swept up a storm by shutting down and fining restaurants, hotels and eateries for sub standard hygienic conditions. Led by Mumtaz, who has been dubbed the Dabang Lady, the PFA has shut down eateries big and small regardless of prestige or the identity of the owner. Pearl Continental, Hardees and even Avari have been fined, all to great applause by the public.

Pakistan is notorious for swallowing up people who try to do the right thing

One of the most interesting things about this campaign is how much support it has gathered among Pakistanis. Ask anyone and it’d be a miracle if they don’t know about PFA’s war on profiteering owners who risk public health.

The key thing, that was crucial in Ayesha Mumtaz becoming what she has, is Facebook. Ayesha Mumtaz and Punjab Food Authority posted each and every raid on Facebook to get approval from masses and gain public support which was necessary for a bureaucrat going against elite and powerful businesses. By engaging the public in such a manner, they have gained grassroots appeal and traction.


Ayesha Mumtaz and Punjab Food Authority posted each and every raid on Facebook to get approval from masses and gain public support which was necessary for a bureaucrat who was hitting the faces of elite and powerful businesses

This is important because Pakistan is notorious for swallowing up people who try to do the right thing. Our corrupt system ensures that anyone who threatens people with power or money does not get to do their job at all.

As always, traditional media was slow in highlighting the PFA. By the time they got to it, maybe Ayesha Mumtaz would have met a similar fate. Instead, the traction she and PFA got through the use of their Facebook page made her and the work too visible and hard to be blocked by the corrupt system.

Now, she and the authority are getting plaudits and have even gotten the personal blessings and the promise of a free hand to continue their work by Shehbaz Sharif, CM Punjab.

Thanks to Facebook, Ayesha Mumtaz gained enough public support and popularity that it became hard for corrupt Pakistani system to block her actions

Just imagine if we get more people stepping up like this. A lot of government departments and sectors would benefit from transparency and engaging the public in a similar manner.

With social media, we have the perfect tool to make good work viral and the people behind it too visible to be re-assigned or dismissed. The PFA tapped into this to great effect. Imagine if we get one such person leading each government department and they converse directly with the public to gauge its effect. We truly believe Pakistan could become a better country.

In the mean time, if anyone says this country is too far gone to do things the right way, point them towards PFA’s page and tell them to have a little faith. Even if we can’t be the ones who bring the change, the least we can do is support the ones who do.

  • Bravo Miss Ayesha, just got to stop the people who are selling donkey + pig meat.They Ins Sha Allah everything will be A-OK

  • I’m curious. If tomorrow, Ayesha Mumtaz was ‘taken care of’ by some high-ranking official in a private manner and the matter was asked to be kept quiet by aforementioned official, what would social media do? What would you or I (the average Facebook user) be able to do? Sure, social media has played a big role in making PFA’s accomplishments public but I think that if someone actually wanted their department taken care of, it wouldn’t be a huge problem. Just my two cents.

    • I think this was the whole point of the article, Social Media helped PFA gain such popularity that it wouldn’t be easy for anyone to get Ayesha Mumtaz removed or suspended, as it is with anyone else.

      Popular things are hard to put down.

  • my shop was closed for 6 days for not having Fire extinguisher and first aid box (led by AC with health team and civil defence). fined 30000. after only 4 days of opening again sealed for Biscuits not up to standards of DCO (no sampling or send to any lab for testing). where to go? to whom to complain? Bhokay kuttay chorr diay hain awam pr punjab hakomat nay. boht kuch thek hona chaheyah per small cities may DCO, AC sirf revenue ikhata karnay may lagay huay hain. I swear to God k meray pass next fine bharnay k paisay bhe nhe hain. Media creates a hype for a certain case aur hum jazbati awam ussay uss k mantaki anjaam tkk pohnchana chahtay hain. 1 2 hazar roz kamanay wala safai na honay pr 1 lakh kahan sy bharay ga? Punjab Food Authority Act, 2011 aur Punjab Food Authority Ordinance, 2015 pr puray pakistan may aik business pr pura utar skta ha to mai kaam chor dn ga. kindly read dawn report

    • To safai rakho bhai. Jaise apne ghar mein rakhte ho. Ya wahan b ni rakhte?
      Agar aik shop/hotel ka owner apne ghar mein to safai ka khyal rakhta hai lekin shop pe us ko kisi Authority ki taraf se safai krne k lye fine ka intezar ho to doob k mar jao.

    • to jb ghattiya cheezein rakhi houn gi fine hi ho ga na…whiner…pta nai hai k fire extinguisher kitna zaruri hota hai duffer

    • why don’t you also provide proof of what you wrote on facebook page and get justice and popularity by same media (facebook) which she used as it’s equally available to you too …

  • What ever they are doing may be good/bad [there are always 2 or more sides of a story] but what is weird is the popularity of the individual rather than the department. If she retires or goes away for whatever reason everybody will look for another Ayesha Mumtaz. rather than looking up to the dept.

    • But it is people who take the departments, governments, countries to height isn’t it? people run institutions… so let’s support her and people coming after her will automatically follow her stature or they will feel a definite pressure of doing well, some how people will exert pressure to see same work again? aint it? warna cleric babu to buhat rakhay hain qaum nay jo file ni hilaty na khud hilty hain

  • I remember A BRAVE, VIGILANT officer like hers in karachi some few years back.. the whole episode lasted while HE was in office.. after that………… you know how we purstanis eat our food :) so yeah.

  • @videovertex:disqus meri post may kahin likha hua ha k safai ke waja sy fine hua? civil defence ka procedure yeh ha k wo challan kaat daytay hain aur adalat jana parta ha. biscuit ka procedure yeh ha k sample lay k lab ko bhej dain aur result k anay pr karwai karain. hamaray hath jo shugal lagta ha hum uss ka charm khatam kr k chortay hain.

  • Praise Ayesha by all means but do not expect every woman to do wonders like her, just as all men are not inefficient and corrupt.

  • 1000% agreed people should come forward.. help each other to discourage corruption INSHAALLAH sooner or later our beloved country would be neat and clean from these malpartices.

    katra katra darya banta hai

    We should help people like Ayesha Mumtaz who are taking brave step, even by small moral support.

    • Famous qoute of Alama Iqbal has “Zara num ho to yeh matti bari zerkhaiz hai …’ and she is one of it.

      Aap soho tou sahi yeh curropt log pata nahi kitany arsay say awan to haram kila pila rehay hai.

  • To add, we have now Ayesha Ranjha of, Punjab Revenue Authority who is sealing boutiques / fashion outlets. Sindh is waiting for some Ayesha too.

    • you are running speed test to Afghan server? hahah Bhai you need some wisdom potion. Should I mix one for ya? Pakistan has very long routes to reach its neighbors Iran, India and Afghanistan.

      • We would need a special ingredient to make that potion. A rare plant found in caves of tora bora mountains.

  • really a brave lady, a hope generator. now we can not say every one is corrupt in pakistan. people lile Ayesha Mumtaz are still there.
    we all pray for you and support you.
    our pride the Ayesha Mumtaz

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