Pakistan-born doctor to lead COVID-19 response in Washington

Short Url
Updated 20 November 2020

Pakistan-born doctor to lead COVID-19 response in Washington

  • Karachi-born Dr. Umair Shah will be advising Washington governor on health legislation, particularly in dealing with COVID-19
  • He is experienced in crisis response and has worked with the World Health Organization's earthquake relief teams in Haiti and Kashmir

RAWALPINDI: Karachi-born Dr. Umair Shah, who has been appointed the chief of coronavirus response in Washington, US, said on Friday that he is proud to shed a light on the dedication of Pakistani-Americans to their communities.

Washington governor Jay Inslee announced the appointment on his official Twitter account on Wednesday, writing that he was “excited” about Dr, Shah joining his administration and bringing "unrivaled expertise, knowledge and passion for public health."

"I am proud to shed a positive light on Pakistani-Americans and the dedicated service they provide to their communities every single day," Dr. Shah told Arab News.

"While one should always be the best at one’s work and that should remain the primary focus, I recognize what this may represent for other groups that may see themselves in me," he said.

A Vanderbilt University graduate, Dr. Shah received his medical degree from the University of Toledo Health Science Centre and a master's in public health from the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Previously, Dr. Shah served as the chief medical officer of Galveston County Health District in Texas and president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

He is also experienced in crisis response having worked with the World Health Organization, where he was a member of earthquake relief teams in Haiti and Kashmir.

As the state's secretary of health, Dr. Shah will be responsible for advising the governor on health legislation, particularly in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis.

"It is an absolute honor to be asked to join the state of Washington for this position in Governor Inslee’s cabinet. I look forward to the work and recognize there are challenges especially COVID-19 that will need addressing as a priority," he said.


Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

Updated 24 November 2020

Pakistan says no possibility of recognizing Israel before just settlement of Palestinian issue

  • Prime Minister Imran Khan recently admitted that his administration was under pressure to recognize Israel
  • Pakistan's foreign office says the country supports Palestinian right to self-determination

ISLAMABAD: The foreign office of Pakistan on Tuesday "categorically rejected" speculation regarding any possibility of recognizing Israel by Pakistan, saying it believed that Palestinians should get the right to self-determination.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent statement on the subject, the foreign ministry spokesperson said that Pakistan was not willing to recognize the Jewish state until a just settlement of the Palestine issue -- that satisfied the Palestinian people -- was found.
"Pakistan steadfastly supports the Palestinian people's inalienable right to self-determination," said an official statement circulated in Islamabad. "For just and lasting peace, it is imperative to have a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and OIC resolutions, with the pre-1967 borders, and Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian State."
Prime Minister Khan recently admitted that his administration was under international pressure to recognize Israel, though he refused to name the countries that had reached out to him for that purpose.
He also maintained that his government would go with the choice that the country's founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, made and continue to stand by the people of Palestine.