I haven’t written for myself, this platform, or for anyone in a – very – long while. Aside from my mind always being occupied with one thing or the other, I believe in writing when feeling passionate. Tonight, I feel passionately heartbroken and apologetic. Tonight, I dedicate this sincere message to Abdul Sattar Edhi, who passed away a few hours ago.
Thank you, for nurturing our abandoned baby girls left at your doorstep because we, as a nation, are either poor from the heart or poor from the pocket, to raise and love our girls and boys, equally.
Thank you, for rescuing our orphans from child trafficking and from all the evil they could have been exposed to, when nobody else would.
Thank you, for developing free nursing homes, so our forgotten elderly do not beg, or sleep on the streets.
Thank you, for creating the largest ambulance service in the world and offering free welfare services in a country where poverty comes hand in hand with disrespect, devalue and humiliation.
Thank you, for filling all the gaps where our government failed, our nation failed, humanity failed.
But I am sorry.
I am sorry that your philanthropy is underestimated and unknown to many outside Pakistan.
I am sorry that your legacy is not the kind of picture the West wants to see of Pakistan.
I am sorry the West do not see a Pakistan beyond Malala Yousafzai.
I am sorry the West prefer to raise and recognise, in the name of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistan that tortures and oppresses our women.
I am sorry you were restrained in New York, Toronto, Lebanon and many other airports, because your name did not deserve to allow you in another country peacefully, let alone being offered citizenship, like Malala Yousafzai.
I am sorry that your image did not fit the Western ideal of a third world Islamic nation, so the West prefer to sing praise and read books of Malala Yousafzai – I am sorry they know her before (or if) they know you.
You started your legacy with only 5000 rupees* and in almost 60 years of serving, you showed us the true essence of charity, of willpower and determination. Thank you, for serving our orphans, homeless, wounded, abused, starved and widows. You were there when nobody else was.
I wish you had been more honoured by this world.
إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
“People have become educated, but have not become human.” – Abdul Sattar Edhi
*5000 rupees amounts to roughly 36 pounds/47 US dollars