Islamabad: The soyem for celebrated Pakistani philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi — founder of the non-profit organisation Edhi Foundation — was held in Karachi on Sunday amidst tight security.
A soyem is a three-day Islamic rite held after burying the deceased.
Quran Khawani — recitation of the Quran — began around 9.30 a.m. for Edhi who died on Friday night at a hospital in Karachi at the age of 88, Dawn quoted Edhi’s son Faisal Edhi as saying.
Senior political leaders, including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Arif Alvi, were among those who attended the rites.
At least 400 police personnel were deployed to ensure security during the rites.
Revered by many as a national hero, Abdul Sattar Edhi was known as Pakistan’s “Mother Teresa”, who masterminded the country’s largest welfare organisation almost single-handedly, entirely with private donations.
He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 but had been unable to get a transplant due to frail health.
Thousands of people, including high-profile politicians and government officials, gathered at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday to attend the funeral prayers of Edhi, who was given a guard of honour by the Pakistan Army.
His body was bought to the Edhi village, where, as per his wishes, Edhi was laid to rest in the grave he himself dug 25 years ago and the clothes he was wearing during his last moments.
The humanitarian, who was born in Gujarat state in 1929, came to Pakistan during the Partition in 1947. He started the foundation in 1951.
He has been nominated for the Noble Prize several times and appears again in the list this year.