KARACHI: Philanthropist, celebrated humanitarian and the icon of social and welfare service Abdul Sattar Edhi was laid to rest on Saturday as thousands attended his funeral prayers.
Edhi was buried in Edhi village as per his last wish as his funeral prayers were offered after Zuhr prayers following a guard of honour and a gun salute by the Pakistan Army.
His funeral prayers were offered after Zuhr prayers following a guard of honour and a gun salute by the Pakistan Army.
The body, draped in Pakistans flag, was then taken to the Edhi village.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif announced a state funeral and day of national mourning in honour of the man who owned just two sets of clothes, but whose work uplifting the nations destitute and orphans cemented his place in the hearts of Pakistans masses.
The last time Pakistan held a state funeral was for military dictator General Zia ul-Haq in 1988.
Edhi had pledged to donate his body organs. However, due to his long illness, his son has promised to donate only his eyes to any deserving person.
Motivated by a spiritual quest for justice, over the years Edhi and his team created maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters, and homes for the elderly, picking up where limited government-run services fell short.
His ethos of humanitarianism transcended religious and ethnic lines, but made him the target of many ferocious smear campaigns.
Hardliners branded him an infidel and his work un-Islamic. His response was hard work and an obstinate asceticism, a bid to leave his enemies with no ammunition.
He slept in a windowless room adjoining the office of his foundation furnished with just a bed, a sink and a hotplate.
The states failure to help his struggling family care for his mother paralysed and suffering from mental health issues was his painful and decisive turning point towards philanthropy.
In the sticky streets in the heart of Karachi, Edhi, full of idealism and hope, opened his first clinic in 1951.
Abandoned children and the elderly, battered women, the disabled, drug addicts; Edhis foundation now houses some 5,700 people in 17 shelters across the country.
The most prominent symbols of the foundation its 1,500 ambulances are deployed with unusual efficiency to the scene of extremist attacks that tear through Pakistan with devastating regularity.
He was so widely respected that armed groups and bandits were known
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.