LAHORE - Leaders of all political and religious parties, rights activists, lawyers, trade unionists and known personalities from different walks of life have expressed deep condolence over the death of great philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, also proposing to name the day as “National Charity Day”.

PML-N, PPP, PTI, Jamaat-e-Islami, JUI-F, Pakistan Awami Tehreek, JUI-S, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, factions of JUP, factions of Jamiat Ehlehadith, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen, Islami Tehreek, religious scholars and other known political figures in their separate statements termed late Edhi the true face of Pakistan on second day of his demise.

Nazaria-i-Pakistan Trust, Pakistan Movement Workers’ Trust, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation, All Pakistan Workers Confederation in their statements said people of country deprived from a fatherly figure after his death.

Leaders of PTI and PML-Q yesterday said that Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great leader of Pakistan who dedicated his life to the service of needy and down trodden.

“His place could not be filled but the political forces and riches of the state can take lesson from his life to serve the needy,” said PTI and PML-Q Punjab leaders Chaudhary Sarwar and Chaudhary Pervaiz Elahi while expressing their sentiments over the sad demise of great philanthropist who died late Friday night.

“Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great social worker and his mission should keep moving forward, all governments should help Edhi Foundation to carry on his mission,” urged Pervaiz Elahi.

“The nation has given title of “Khadam-e-Azam” to Abdul Sattar Edhi which will live till end of the world. The Almighty blessed him with many capabilities and the entire country is shedding tear on his sad demise today,” he added.

“Abdul Sattar Edhi was really a legend in his line which is service to the needy. We’ve no words to pay tribute to great personality,” said Chaudhary Sarwar. “Abdul Sattar Edhi is the identity of Pakistan on international level. Services rendered for needy and orphan people by him will be remembered till the day of judgment,” he added.

The JI chief paid rich tributes to late Edhi for his services for humanity. He said the best way to pay homage to the deceased was that the government strived to provide shelter to the shelter-less and free medical cover and education to the poor. Sirajul Haq also demanded that a university be named after the deceased.

PAT chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri, in his tweet, said: “Abdul Sattar Edhi was a great philanthropist who served the humanity without any discrimination. He was a role model and an asset for Pakistan.”

PML-N leader Pervaiz Malk, PPP leader Manzor Watoo, Ch Manzor Hussain, JuD head Hafiz Saaeed, JUP chief Pir Ijaz Hashmi, JUI-F leader Amjad Khan, JUI-S leader Maulana Abdurauf Farooqi, MWM head Raja Nasir Abbas and others in their statement paid glowing tribute to the services of late Edhi for humanity.

Trade unions leaders Khurished Ahmed, Akbar Ali Khan, Aima Mahmood, Shaukat Chaudhary, renowned lawyer and social worker Momnia Khayal, rights activist Abdullah Malk and other expressed condolence to the family, friends and all people related to his charity work. They prayed for the departed soul and also for the bereaved family.

“Edhi will never die and live in the hearts of Pakistanis forever,” said Khayal in her statement. She proposed the day of Edhi’s demise should be observed every year as the national charity day.

In a statement, the APWC termed late Edhi as icon of charity who spent his whole life for improving lives of millions of poor and down trodden people of the country.

Millions of Pakistanis in their twitter and facebook messages also expressed condolence and paid tribute to the messiah of mankind. They also proposed the day should be marked as national day for charity in the country.

TributeS: Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 Director General Brig (r) Dr Arshad Zia paid rich tribute to legendary social worker, humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi and said it is a great loss not only for the nation but for the whole humanity.

In a press statement issued here on Saturday, he said that the Rescue 1122 has always been facilitated by Edhi Ambulance/Mortuary Services during emergencies and disasters and we would continue his mission by providing right to timely emergency care to helpless victims.

He further said greatest philanthropist/social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi would always live in our hearts due to his selfless services in humanitarian sector.

Honoured by Nishan-e-Imtiaz Award in 1989, Edhi also received the Nishan-e-Imtiaz.  He was handed the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service together with his wife, Bilquis Edhi, He is also the recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize and the Balzan Prize. 

The masterminding of Pakistan’s largest welfare empire used to sleep in a windowless room of white tiles adjoining the office of his Edhi Foundation. Sparsely equipped, it has just one bed, a sink and a hotplate.

In 2006, Institute of Business Administration Pakistan conferred an honoris causa degree of Doctor of Social Service Management for his services. In September 2010, Edhi was also awarded an honorary degree of Doctorate by the University of Bedfordshire.

Edhi has been nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize, and appears on the list last year again.

"Social welfare was my vocation, I had to free it," he says in his autobiography, "A Mirror To The Blind".

His work so conquered the esteem of Pakistan's masses that armed groups and bandits were known to spare his ambulances.

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.

In the early days of his work, as Edhi cruised the streets in his ambulance, he was made desperate by the number of infant corpses he came across.