US media pays tributes to Edhi as the ‘greatest Pakistani’

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NEW YORK, July 9 (APP): American print and electronic gave
prominent coverage to the passing away in Karachi of Abdul Sattar  Edhi, the Pakistani philanthropist, calling him a revered figure and  the “greatest Pakistani”, while underlining the fact that he lived  modestly despite the vast sums of money that passed through his  charitable foundation.

After giving details about his career and hard work in the service of humanity, The New York Times, America’s leading newspaper, said  Edhi’s name became “synonymous with charitable causes and who achieved  an almost saintly status in Pakistan.”

The paper said Edhi worried that social progress had not matched  the world’s material and technological advances. “People have become educated,” he was quoted as saying, “but have yet to become human.”

“Known in Pakistan as ‘Angel of Mercy’ for his social work that  also won international acclaim, Edhi had established a welfare foundation almost six decades ago that he oversaw together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi,” the Associated Press, the American news agency, said in a  dispatch.

The Wall Street Journal said, “A famously ascetic figure, always  clad in simple clothes, Mr Edhi said he had no desire for worldly  belongings and cared only about serving humanity,” noting that his  final wish was to be buried in the clothes he wore when he died and  for any of his usable organs to be donated.

“Starting with a small medical aid service in 1951, Mr Edhi grew  his organization into one of Pakistan’s largest and most respected philanthropic services,” the daily newspaper said.

“The Edhi Foundation today runs a nationwide network of ambulances, orphanages, women’s shelters, and medical and food aid centers.

It  receives millions of dollars in donations from Pakistan and around the world. Mr Edhi personally worked in the field, helping victims of  natural disasters and terrorism, until his health no longer allowed it.”

‘New York NOW’, a respected television channel, said, “Widely  admired for his stubborn integrity – he only accepted private  donations, refusing government offers of support – and commitment to  helping Pakistan’s destitute and forgotten, Edhi was often referred  to as ‘Pakistan’s Mother Teresa’.

He saw charity as a central tenet  of Islam and lived humbly with his wife, Bilquis, in the same  building as his organization’s offices.

“But unlike Mother Teresa, Edhi had to operate in the face of
death threats and other obstacles. In past years, his ambulances were attacked, as were volunteers who worked for his organization.

Islamists occupied one of his Karachi facilities, and the baby cradles  he and Bilquis set up to accept unwanted babies were criticized as encouraging out-of-wedlock births.”

But, it said, Edhi defied the  threats and continued his work which was of purely humanitarian nature.