Presence of polio virus: Strict action ordered against refusal

In what could be dubbed a strange move, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Zulfiqar Haider has sacked Assistant Commissioner Islamabad Ali Asghar for vaccinating the excise director’s child — against the family’s wishes.

According to the sources, AC city landed in trouble after police personnel vaccinated polio drops to the Excise Director Mariam Mumtaz’s daughter despite refusal of her husband.

Mariam Mumtaz conveyed her displeasure to the Islamabad Chief Commissioner, who gave only one hour of time to Ali Asghar for explanation.

In a written response to the Chief Commissioner’s explanation call, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, Asghar stated that he was willing to apologise to the female officer despite not being at fault.

AC stated that there was an order to lodge case against those who refuse to inoculate polio drops to their children.

Ali Asghar said that Deputy Commissioner Islamabad informed him that the officials of an unnamed school/day-car centre located at house no.4, street 72, G-6/4 were refusing administration of polio drops and he was directed to amicably resolve the matter.

However, he said that if the matter was not resolved then strict legal action should be taken against those held responsible.

The letter reads that he immediately reached the said location along with area DSP and SHO to ascertain the facts and requested the school management to allow the polio staff to administer polio drops.

“Almost all the children in the said premises supped the drops barring only one minor girl. The father of the child appeared and started bulling me, saying, don’t you know who I am and if not then you will come to know very soon,” he added.

Ali Aghar said that meanwhile he received a call from Mariam Mumtaz, who started shouting at him in a very aggressive manner. He said that she yelled over the phone, “How dare you harass my husband and force my daughter to get the polio drops”!

“I humbly explained the situation to her but she did not listen and threatened me of dire consequences and disconnected the phone,” the letter added.

Ali Asghar said that he did not harass or resorted to any abusive behavior with anyone however; the omission was regretted unconditionally and he was ready to apologise to Mariam despite not being at fault.

However, despite his readiness to apologise Mumtaz, Chief Commissioner took a prompt action and surrendered Asghar’s services to the establishment division.

Sources said that the interior ministry wanted to resolve the matter amicably and efforts are afoot to convince the Chief Commissioner to reinstate Ali Asghar on his position.

However, sources said that Mariam Mumtaz and Luban Said, Chief Commissioner PS were the main hurdle because they were not willing to reinstate him on his previous position.

They said that the action of the Chief Commissioner created great disappointment among the serious officials of the Islamabad Administration, because he was punished unnecessarily.

Talking to Pakistan Today, Mariam Mumtaz said that she was being criticised for not administering polio drops to her child, which was totally incorrect. She said that being an educated family how she could put life of her children at stake by not administering polio drops.

However, she said that she just talked to Ali Asghar to explain the situation that since her child got afraid because of the contingent of police, so she should be allowed to go home, as she would be vaccinated with polio drops in the evening at home.

She said that Ali Asghar was infuriated and even harassed her husband; hence she complained to Chief Commissioner against his behavior. However, she said that she had no role in sacking him.

However, when she was asked that efforts were afoot to restore him at his own position, Mariam said that she had no objection.

When this scribe contacted, Lubna Said refused to comment on the issue and stated that she had no information about the issue.

However, talking to Pakistan Today, Director Administration Farasat Ali Khan said that he had received directives from Chief Commissioner and he acted upon his directives.

When asked about the possible settlement of the issue, he refused to comment pleading that he was not authorised to speak to the media.

It is also pertinent to mention that on May 2017, Federal Minister for National Services, Regulation and Coordination chaired a meeting, in which she directed that keeping in view the presence of polio virus in last three environmental samples, all-out efforts support shall be ensured by the field officers to polio teams to ensure that no child is left unvaccinated during this campaign and the chair directed that stern action must be taken against all kinds of refusals and if need be the DC/ACs shall take strict legal action including launching of FIR against violators/defaulters.



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