Prominent Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi died in a Karachi hospital on Friday. He was 88. He was the head of the Edhi Foundation, which he set up in 1951 to provide a number of social services including emergency healthcare, free hospitals, drug rehabilitation centres and humanitarian aid. The foundation runs one of the world’s largest ambulance services.
Edhi had been suffering from complications related to a kidney failure since 2013 and was being treated at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation. According to Dawn, he was offered treatment abroad in June by former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, but insisted on staying with a government hospital in his home country. On Friday, he was put on ventilator after being declared in critical condition during a dialysis procedure.
Edhi received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1986, the Lenin Peace Prize in 1988 and the Balzan Prize in 2000, among several other international honours for his humanitarian work. He was also recommended for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 by then Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.
Hours before his death, his son Faisal Edhi had requested the people of Pakistan to pray for his health. He is also survived by three other children and his wife Bilquis, who runs the Edhi foundation with him.