‘Like’ my Facebook page, Shahbaz tells officials

Published: June 6, 2012
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CM has told top officials to remove PTI-related material from their Facebook accounts and not ‘like’ any PTI page.

CM has told top officials to remove PTI-related material from their Facebook accounts and not ‘like’ any PTI page.

LAHORE: 

Internet-savvy Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is determined to counter Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s ‘party for the youth’ image – and he’ll do whatever it takes.

Top district officials and policemen in all 36 districts of the province, as well as regional police officers and commissioners have been asked to join Shahbaz’s official Facebook page to boost his popularity, sources told The Express Tribune.

In addition, the chief minister has let all top officials know that they are to remove PTI-related material from their Facebook accounts and not ‘like’ any PTI page.

His efforts have not always been successful. In the last week of May, the Punjab government issued a letter, sent to all officers, requesting them to join Shahbaz’s official webpage and to train themselves in social media networking.

Whether it was out of discomfort with using technology or some other reason, sources said that none had complied with the orders, which irked the chief minister. Shahbaz then directed Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Chairman Umair Saif to convene a meeting and convey the message directly to concerned officers.

Saif held a meeting at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park on June 1 in this regard, telling the administration officials that a number of citizens conveyed complaints to the government via the chief minister’s Facebook page.

Saif added that the Punjab government has deployed moderators who will collect complaints and forward them to a portal named “Electronic Complaint Mechanism System (ECMS).” He said that officials would be provided a username and a password.

The PIBT chairman explained that half of the complaints involve working with either the revenue or police department – so when any such complaint is received on Shahbaz’s Facebook page, it will immediately be transferred to concerned officers.

This seemingly smooth-running virtual reality is not to go unmonitored – Shahbaz regularly visits his Facebook page from 12 to 2 am every night, Saif said according to sources. He is to check ‘personally’ which officers have joined his Facebook page.

Senior police officials, however, remain sceptical. They expressed reservations over complainants not leaving contact details on the online page, which rendered it impossible to address their complaint. One revenue officer from Esa Khel asked Saif a pertinent question – since he doesn’t have any internet facilities in his area, is he supposed to travel 80 kilometres to Mianwali to check if there were complaints and then return to Esa Khel to offer solutions? Another senior police officer said that the Punjab government has to provide electricity if it wanted to tackle  problems online.

Saif had a simple answer for the audience, according to those present – the officers don’t have a choice. Joining the Facebook page is mandatory, the PITB chairman said, adding that the chief minister wanted to portray to internet users that their complaints would be addressed.

While talking to The Express Tribune, Saif said the government is trying to centralise the complaint system. He said the chief minister’s complaint cell would be launched soon in which 30,000 people will be interacted with on a daily basis.

Saif said that the request for officials to join Shahbaz’s Facebook page and address complaints via the page should be viewed positively.

He added, however, that no anti-PTI directions has been issued to the officials regarding Facebook browsing.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 6th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Ordinary Villager
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:05AM

    Weather someone like it or not but the performance of Shahbaz Sharif compared to all other chief ministers are exemplary. Atleast he is better than Sindh’s chief minister who never bother to even come out of his office and same is the case with other chief ministers. Anyone can approach Shahbaz Sharif in Punjab and that is exemplary in a corrupt country like Pakistan.

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  • Jun 6, 2012 - 9:26AM

    Playing circus in Punjab and fooling youth on social media

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  • Jawad
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:53AM

    Ha ha!

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  • Hassan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 9:56AM

    Haha! They’re trying to compete with PTI on social networking now!
    But they surely can’t! :D

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  • Gia
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:01AM

    hahahahahaha……………..Height of insecurity.

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  • Wahab
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:05AM

    hahahah shame!!!

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  • Jun 6, 2012 - 10:25AM

    It reminds us of (un)famous Moghul emprors. Isn’t it?

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  • Sanya
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:28AM

    i think this is a very smart move and about time!!
    if parties like Tehreek-e-Insaf n MQM can have twitter accounts and FB pages why not them?
    they are the most popular party in Punjab so its about time they cater to the younger generation through these mediums..

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  • Ziaahmad
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:30AM

    Desperate attempts by Shahbaz to counter PTI. Thing is Punjab is always better managed and in better condition as compare to other provinces under rule of any 1 weather mushy, Pervaiz Elahi or shahbaz.

    But these kind of actions shows that PMLN is feeling the heat

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  • Ziaahmad
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:35AM

    Shahbaz should focus on province rather than Facebook pages. and should come out of Lahore for once. He got 9 CM secretariatRecommend

  • SAJ!
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:36AM

    He checks his facebook at 12 midnight until 2 AM… He must be a SUPERMAN to give proper attention to the nation’s complaints at the time when a person is DANM SLEEPY!!

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  • Faesal
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:37AM

    This is funny if true. Because i dont blindly believe whatever ET has to say.

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  • SAJ!
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:37AM

    seems like, he is begging people to join his FB page.. hahah!! Go get some life plz.

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  • Jun 6, 2012 - 10:39AM

    Yes He is Less Worse in performance than other C.M’s …
    And No he can’t compete with PTI like this …
    Looks like Meera saying “Faalloowww Meee” :D

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  • wahwah khan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:46AM

    Ordinary Villager!! You are so ordinary. Grow up and be a special one like us (PTI’s)…:D

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  • Shahbaz lodhi
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:53AM

    Its a good way to keep update each party leader on social sites to know about them how much people like or dislike them ?

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  • Hassan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:55AM

    @Ordinary Villager:

    Sharif brothers always give themselves projection on public money, cant you see such big advertising of Laptop scheme, leave the issue if this scheme is good or bad but they are not allowed to do personal projection with public money..i have been to more than 30 countries and never saw any projection like this of any Govt scheme with public money.

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  • Danish Butt
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:55AM

    I wish his intentions were to really serve the people of punjab but alas everything which is being done by him and his party fellows is to tackle the ever-increasing popularity of PTI. InshAllah people will not vote for PML N and PPP this time.Recommend

  • Multan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 10:58AM

    Shehbaz shareef is the best CM currently in Pakistan……Nyc effort……Keep it up Mian SHB.

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  • DevilHunterX
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:06AM

    haha! Recommend

  • salar Khan
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:12AM

    Hatts off to CM punjab for his efforts.Recommend

  • GhostRider
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:14AM

    lolz…. PML (N) isnt hip enough for burger crowd so CM will gather old horses in fan following…

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  • M Umair Asghar
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:15AM

    i have heard people have recieved calls from the govt representative on their problems as well – thats a good initiative-. hopes it becomes successful….Shame no body saw the positive part

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  • Haroon Farooq
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:19AM

    Shehbaz Shareef ur an inspiration to the Nation and its youth…the way u have made beareucracy a servant is amazing….GEO SHEER

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  • Aasim Mukhtar
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:27AM

    I agree to the comment above regarding his performance, CM’s performance have surely been much ‘better’ compared to other provincial and even the Federal governament, but the problem is that its a comparative analysis, in absolute tems, he too has not done anything extra-ordinay. Still hats off to him to have shown good performance, but this move, oh.. This is too lame.. Who on earth uses his office to get facebook fans..

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  • Mo Sheikh
    Jun 6, 2012 - 11:43AM

    Desperate times indeed! Also check out Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s twitter account; she literally gives replies to each and every tweet and by God she spends more time on Twitter than on politics! Newbies :D

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  • Navid
    Jun 6, 2012 - 12:00PM

    Seriously this is hilarious. Recommend

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