I am Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry at Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. I was the chair of the department of psychiatry at my university from 2003 to 2013. I completed my basic medical degree (MBBS) from Karachi, Pakistan, residency and fellowship trainings (General & Old-age psychiatry) from the UK, obtaining the Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK. I completed my PhD from University of London.
I have been researching suicidal behavior in Pakistan over the last couple of decades. My areas of interest include role of socio-cultural and religious factors in suicidal behaviors. I am the principal investigator of the Karachi Suicide Study (KaSS) and conducted the first psychological autopsy study in Pakistan and one of the few in the Islamic world.
I have published on suicide and deliberate self-harm in Pakistan and developing countries and have several book chapters including the Oxford Textbook of Suicidology and Suicide Prevention: a Global Perspective and the International Handbook of Suicide Prevention: Research, Policy and Prevention. I am also on the editorial board of a number of journals, including Crisis, International Journal of Social Psychiatry, Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry and International Review of Psychiatry. I was also an international contributor to the recently published report on suicide prevention, Saving Lives: a Global Imperative’ of the WHO. My other research interests include mental health of women and elderly, psychosomatic medicine and medical ethics.
I have been a member of IASP since 1996 and have served as National Representative for Pakistan as well as the Chair, Council of National Representatives. I was elected Vice-President four years ago and re-elected as 1st Vice-President two years ago.
I am deeply committed to IASP’s vision and mission to prevent and reduce suicidal behaviors globally. As a member of the Executive Committee I have worked closely with colleagues from across the world on strategies for suicide prevention and gained valuable insights not only of the workings of IASP but also of the challenges we face. The challenges for suicide prevention in the 21st century are formidable but I feel I have the necessary experience and motivation to build on the excellent work done by my predecessors and lead IASP to meet these challenges. As President, I would use IASP’s platform to work more closely with colleagues in countries where suicide prevention is neglected, for e.g. in many low and middle-income countries. I feel that it is only by working collaboratively, approaching suicide prevention, both from a scientific, evidence-based as well as a human rights and socio-cultural perspective, that we will be able to address suicide prevention globally