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ISLAMABAD: An official of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration was removed from service and surrendered to the Establishment Division on Friday for trying to administer the polio vaccine to a senior officer’s child on Friday.

On May 17, the administration of a school and day care in G-6 had refused to let the polio team administer drops to their students, saying they needed permission from the parents first. Assistant Commissioner retired Capt Syed Ali Asghar then came to the school to resolve the matter.

He asked the polio team if they had informed the school management about the campaign beforehand to which they said they had and produced documents to the effect.

While this was going on, some parents had come to the school, including the husband of an ICT official, Maryam Mumtaz who is director excise and taxation, Islamabad.

In the explanation letter that was demanded of him, AC Asghar said the school administration had let the team administer vaccines to all children except one girl when told that action will be taken against those responsible otherwise.

He said the girl’s father had tried to intimidate him and would not let him administer the vaccine.

He soon got a call from Ms Mumtaz, he said in his letter, and that she had also shouted at him for harassing her husband and forcing their daughter to get polio drops.

After trying to explain the situation to her, the AC said he called the Islamabad deputy commissioner who directed him to resolve the matter amicably and if she does not get the vaccine, to try and give the girl the drops on the catch-up day.

He said he was then called to the DC’s office and was asked to resolve the issue with Ms Mumtaz to which he agreed.

The letter says he was only following directions for vaccinating all children against polio.

Later, a letter was sent from the chief commissioner’s office to the joint secretary (ICT) Ministry of Interior which said AC Asghar’s services were no longer required, that his services be surrendered to the Establishment Division for posting elsewhere and that this was approved by the chief commissioner ICT.

When asked, Ms Mumtaz said she was not opposed to polio vaccinations and that she had supervised campaigns in the federal capital as well.

“My husband did not want to give our daughter polio drops at that time. I vaccinated all my children the same day,” she said.

She claimed the AC had misbehaved with her husband and that she had nothing to do with him being removed from services, claiming this was the chief commissioner’s decision alone.

Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017