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Pakistani mourners gather during the funeral ceremony of renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi in Karachi, Pakistan, on Saturday.

His death has united Pakistanis in their grief, on the streets, as well as on social media.

Often facing opposition for his secular and humanist views, Edhi is regularly likened to Pakistan's founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said Abdul Sattar Edhi was the real manifestation of love for those who were socially vulnerable, impoverished, helpless and poor.

Edhi, known as a ´servant of humanity´ and who also ran the world´s largest private ambulance network, was suffering from severe kidney problems according to his son.

In June, Edhi declined an offer by former president Asif Ali Zardari for treatment overseas, insisting on getting it done in Pakistan, particularly in a government hospital.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif termed the death of Abdul Sattar Eidhi an irreparable loss for the people of Pakistan.

Abdul Sattar Edhi

In this 2012 photo, Sultana Begum, 70, who is paralyzed, sits in her wheelchair in the hall of the Edhi Home in Karachi, a shelter for homeless and mentally ill women provided by the Edhi Foundation. He had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received many honors from countries around the world, but never changed his humble lifestyle. The work inspires and satisfies me.

"When my ambulance takes a wounded person who is in pain to the hospital, when people reach the hospital, I find peace in knowing I helped an injured person who was in pain", Edhi told Reuters in an interview in 2013.

Edhi's foundation has provided relief in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Croatia, Indonesia and in the USA after Hurricane Katrina.

Edhi's funeral prayers will be offered after Zuhr prayers at the National Stadium, after which he will be laid to rest at Edhi village, reports the Dawn. He had pledged to donate his body organs after his death, but no other organ was in healthy condition due to the age factor.

Edhi was a man of the people, a true example of human empathy, his compassion was overwhelming and his humility was humbling.

An online petition to rename New Islamabad International Airport after Abdul Sattar Edhi has been gaining signatures at a dizzying pace.


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