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NRI is Greater London's High Sheriff

High Sheriff is the oldest office in Britain apart from the Monarchy and has been in existence for 1,000 years.

india Updated: Apr 12, 2006 21:08 IST

NRI doctor Khalid Hameed, a honourary physician to the President of India, has been appointed as the High Sheriff of Greater London.

High Sheriff, a largely ceremonial post, is the oldest office in Britain apart from the Monarchy and has been in existence for 1,000 years.

Lucknow-born Hameed, who was till recently the head of Cromwell Hospital here, described the honour as a proud moment for India and a positive signal to ethnic minorities in Britain.

"It is a proud moment for me and for India. We have been honoured. It is a matter of great privilege for me to be so chosen and nominated," Hameed said in London on Wednesday.

"It is a positive signal to the ethnic minorities here," said Hameed, a Padma Shri awardee.

He said that earlier, the High Sheriff used to collect taxes and raise armed forces. Now, he has to visit the Police Headquarters, Prisons, Hospitals and Fire Brigades.

Describing himself as a "great believer in inter-faith" unity as all religions preach common good, Hameed said a ceremony would be held at Westminster Abbey here on July 5 in which Christian, Hindu, Muslim and Sikh representatives would take part.

Hameed was the first Asian to be appointed as Chief Executive of Cromwell Hospital, London.

He stayed in that post for 15 years and helped the hospital achieve a pre-eminent position in Europe.

First Published: Apr 12, 2006 20:09 IST