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Ayesha Mumtaz, the only force to stop widespread unhygienic food, removed from her office

Ayesha Mumtaz

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The sturdy woman of Punjab Food Authority (PFA), Ayesha Mumtaz, stated that she has been removed from her office after working at the post of Operations Director for more than a year. Ayesha Mumtaz says that she has applied for a 104 days paid leave to help out an ill family member. Her leave has been granted.

However, the faithful government servant sees no hope of coming back. Expressing her anguish, Ayesha Mumtaz revealed

No one has asked me to report back

The newly appointed Director General (DG) at Punjab Food Authority, Noorul Amin Mengal, gave his statement on the issue saying that they have appointed a new PFA director operations because the post is an important one and it cannot be left vacant for four months.

He also maintains that Miss Mumtaz will resume her duties after her leave. A spokesperson from PFA has denied the dismissal of Ayesha Mumtaz and reassured that she is only away on a paid leave for three months.

The 39 years old civil servant always exhibited dedication, honesty and allegiance in her duties. As director of operations, Ayesha Mumtaz worked to inspect the unhygienic situations prevalent in restaurants, eateries, hotels and food manufacturing units.

Ayesha Mumtaz appeared like a storm for all those business using illegal, expired or unhygienic products in their kitchens. Under her supervision, a team of food and health inspectors raided every big and small food production, packaging and selling units. From local restaurants to large industrial units, she explored everything and checked them against PFA health standards and valid licenses.

She led a team of 24 daring officers which conducted more than 10,000 inspections since June last year. With every finding of violation of food standards, they responded back with strict legal action, fining numerous unhygienic food places and even temporarily shutting down a few.

Ayesha Mumtaz took support of social media in her ventures too, which gave her the opportunity to publicaly announce the names of eateries and manufacturers who were under health code violation. Her Facebook posts caught fuel pretty soon.

Her efforts were blooming until this August, when she wrapped two dried milk factories in Lahore, run by Premier Dairies (Pvt.) Ltd. and Millac Foods (Pvt.) Ltd. The two companies were found to be using bottles of expired milk powder and it being packaged and sold to the locals. One of the companies, Millac was also even operating without a valid license to produce dried milk.

The Supreme Court has also taken due notice of the manufacturing of substandard powder milk. Both the factories were sealed in under the orders of Ayesha Mumtaz, but their suspension was lifted by the new DG Noorul Amin Mengal. The clash of opinions have led to a rift between the newly appointed director general and the authentic lady.

Questions have been raised on this peculiar situation. The staunch character of Ayesha Mumtaz has always been saluted. How can the authorities let her go like this?