The oldest people-to-people peace group in the region, the Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), has in a press statement expressed deep grief over the passing away of Indian-born Pakistani social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi. Terming him as “legendary” and “a great human being and messiah for the under-privileged,” PIPFPD said, “He will be always remembered for his humanitarian work.”
Born in Gujarat, India, Edhi migrated to Pakistan after Partition with his family. He had not been keeping well for some time but refused to go abroad for medical treatment. He was recommended for Nobel Peace prize a couple of times and though he was never conferred with the prestigious award, he remained “always in the hearts of the people not only of Pakistan but India and other parts of the world,” said PIPFPD.
The Indian fishing community “will always have a special place for Edhi,” says PIPFPD general secretary Jatin Desai. He points out that whenever Pakistan releases, it is the Edhi Foundation that takes care of them, transports them to Wagah border and hands them over to the Indian authorities. The Foundation also gifts them with Sindhi ajraks, food, and other material.
Also, when any Indian prisoner dies in a Pakistani prison, the body is kept at the Edhi Foundation’s morgue. “For Edhi, humanity was the first and last.” notes PIPFPD.
“The world is going through a terrible phase and Edhi Saheb was most needed today,” says Desai, adding that PIPFPD hopes Edhi “will inspire Indians and Pakistanis to bring sustained peace in the region.”