Al-Ghanim offers condolences over death of Pakistani philanthropist Edhi

People’s power and ‘power politics

Al-Ghanim offers condolences over death of Pakistani philanthropist Edhi

Edhi's son Faisal Edhi said that his father's cornea will be donated.

He owned just two sets of clothes and used to sleep in a windowless room of white tiles adjoining the office of his charitable foundation.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif ‏said: "PM NS announces State funeral & Pakistan's highest civil award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz for the one &only Edhi Sb".

The Edhi Foundation runs orphanages, clinics and a vast fleet of ambulance in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi.

Sharif, who is returning to Pakistan from London where he underwent open heart surgery, expressed regret that his health would not allow him to personally attend the funeral.

Born in Gujarat, Edhi belonged to a family of Memon traders, who came to Karachi in 1947.

Edhi's ambulances are often the first to reach ground zero in a natural disaster, making the difference between life and death, and this service has become a lifeline with the rise of terror attacks in Pakistan.

Edhi foundation had taken care of Geeta, the Indian deaf girl, during her over a decade-long stay in Pakistan.

He received the Ramon Magsaysay Award for public service in 1986. It receives millions of dollars in donations from Pakistan and around the world.

Abandoned children and the elderly, battered women, the disabled, drug addicts; Edhi's foundation now houses some 5,700 people in 17 shelters across the country.

While he is probably the most universally beloved figure in Pakistan since the country's founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Edhi fell foul of forces whose claims to authority his work explicitly and implicitly challenged.

Rehmatullah Mosa Ghazi, Charge d'Affaires at the Afghanistan Embassy (R), greets Abdul Sattar Edhi, Pakistan social worker, at the Afghan embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, March 27, 2002.

The attempts to smear him had little effect. "Attending his funeral is the least we could do to pay our tributes", shopkeeper Siraj Ahmed, 34, said outside the stadium where the army fired a 19-gun salute to mark Edhi's death. "To look after and help the poor - this is my work and my goal".

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