KARACHI: Philanthropist and social activist Abdul Sattar Edhi has passed away. His son Faisal Edhi confirmed the news to the media. 

He had been on the ventilator for over six hours and after consulting doctors, the family allowed to remove the ventilator.

The government has announced three-day mourning and Edhi's state funeral will be held at the National Stadium Karachi.

“He will be buried at Edhi village and in his regular clothes as per his last wish,” Faisal Edhi said. “He also said that any of his body parts which can be donated, must be donated, and we have donated his eyes,” Faisal told the media.

The Edhi Foundation chairman Edhi was shifted to ventilator at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) after suffering from breathing problem.

Faisal Edhi had earlier informed about Edhi's ailing condition. He said that Edhi was not eating for the past 2-3 months due to which he is physically weak.

“Edhi Sahib’s condition got critical in the afternoon. He felt difficulty in breathing while undergoing a scheduled dialysis process after which the doctors decided to shift him on a ventilator," said Faisal Edhi adding that although his condition is serious but they were hopeful of his early recovery.

In a statement issued from SIUT, the spokesperson said that old age is one of the factors behind Edhi’s illness. “Edhi sahab was having trouble breathing so we shifted him on the ventilator,” it said adding that he admitted to the SIUT on July 5 for treatment.

Wife of the ailing philanthropist who had also served alongside Edhi, informed media that Edhi was not doing well and they only need their prayers for his early recovery.

“When I met him today he was asking for forgiveness from me. I told him, ‘I forgive you a hundred times, but there have been days that I too have troubled you. So please forgive me also,” she said while crying during the entire press conference.

It is pertinent to mention here Edhi Foundation patron-in-chief Abdul Sattar Edhi underwent a successful operation at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation here on June 28.

Abdul Sattar Edhi created a charitable empire Edhi Foundation out of nothing, masterminding Pakistan’s largest welfare organisation. He is more than a national hero in Pakistan for her invaluable services for humanity.

Motivated by a spiritual quest for justice, over the years Edhi and his team have created maternity wards, morgues, orphanages, shelters, and homes for the elderly — all aimed at helping those in society who cannot help themselves.

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. It employs around 3,000 people, many of whom were former residents. The project Bilquis Edhi is most proud of is the baby cradles adoption service.

"May Allah give Edhi Sahib the best place in paradise and make his journey to Ahkira (the world hereafter) easy," said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a statement released to media.

"He was a real gem and asset for Pakistan. We have lost a great servant of humanity." Others lauded him as "the greatest Pakistani", calling his death a "national tragedy".

His work was so widely respected by across Pakistan that armed groups and bandits were known to spare his ambulances.

Frail and weak in his later years, Edhi appointed his son Faisal as managing trustee in early 2016.

Edhi was been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and appears on the list again this year -- put there by Malala Yousafzai, Pakistan's teenage Nobel laureate.

"I have done a lot of work. I am satisfied with my life," he told AFP in an interview earlier this year.