Thousands mourn Pakistani philanthropist


Tens of thousands attended Saturday's ceremony, the first state funeral since the 1980s, at Karachi's National Stadium.

Edhi's funeral on Saturday, July 9, is expected to be one of the biggest in Pakistan's history.

"He will be laid to rest, as per his wishes, at the Edhi village", he said.

Strict security measures were taken for the funeral. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah has also expressed his profound grief on the sad demise of Abdul Sattar Eidhi and announced a three-day mourning in the province.

His son Faisal Edhi said Edhi had been admitted to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation on early Friday and put on life support.

Edhi had also donated his organs but due to continuous medical treatment, only his corneas could be harvested.

He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 and his health declined.

AFP adds: Edhi, whose death was confirmed by his son Faisal, was revered for setting up maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters and homes for the elderly, picking up where limited government-run services fell short.

Despite the vast sums of money that passed through his charitable foundation, Mr Edhi lived modestly with his family in a two-room apartment adjacent to the headquarters of his foundation.

Edhi, who had dedicated his life to humanity and serving the poor, was widely respected in Pakistan due to his humanitarian and social welfare works.

Born in Gujarat in British India, Abdul Sattar Edhi and his Muslim family moved to Pakistan in 1947 during the violent partition of the subcontinent.

Ban said that Edhi was a living legend who always taught to do justice, kindness and sympathy with every human being regardless of religion and racism.

Pakistan's cricket team, which is on tour in England, wore black armbands during their match against the Somerset county team to mourn Edhi's death.

"There are few men who have done as much good, and made as much a difference to the lives and livelihoods of the Pakistani people as Abdul Sattar Edhi", Sharif said hours before Edhi's death.