Philanthropist & humanitarian Bilquis Bano Edhi passes away at 74 in Karachi
PM Shehbaz, President Alvi, others express deep grief & sorrow on the death of Bilquis Edhi
KARACHI/ISLAMABAD ( Web news )
Philanthropist and humanitarian Bilquis Bano Edhi passed away at a Karachi hospital at the age of 74 on Friday.
Her death was confirmed by her son Faisal Edhi, who also said that the funeral would be announced shortly.
Earlier this week, Bilquis — the wife of renowned humanitarian and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi — was rushed to a private hospital in Karachi after her blood pressure suddenly dropped.
At the time, Edhi Foundation Spokesperson Muhammad Bilal said she would remain at the hospital for a couple more days even though her condition was not serious. He had added that Bilquis had congestive heart failure and she has already undergone bypass procedure twice.
Bilquis was a professional nurse and headed the Bilquis Edhi Foundation. She spent more than six decades of her life serving humanity. Her charity saved over thousands of unwanted babies by placing jhoolas (cradles) at Edhi Homes and centres across the country.
Called the Mother of Pakistan, she was awarded various national and foreign awards including the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the Lenin Peace Prize, Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice (2015), and the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, which she received along with her husband in 1986.
Last year, she was also declared the ‘Person of the Decade’, along with UN rapporteur on human rights Prof Yanghee Lee and the US ethicist Stephen Soldz by an international organisation.
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif termed Bilquis’ death “a huge loss for the nation”. “An incredible woman in her own right, she stood by Edhi sahab like a rock and together they set up an example of human compassion and ran one of the largest philanthropic organisations of the world. May her soul rest in peace!” he said.
“Sad to learn about the passing of Bilquis Edhi sahiba. She had always been shoulder to shoulder with Abdul Sattar Edhi in his philanthropic efforts and continued his work even after his death. May Allah bless the departed soul,” said President Dr. Arif Alvi.
Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah expressed deep grief and sorrow over the demise and lauded her for the philanthropic works she did for the country.
Former foreign minister and PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the demise of Ms Bilqis Edhi.”
Aseefa Bhutto Zardari in a statement said that that the loss of Begum Bilquis Edhi is a monumental loss to Pakistan. “She tirelessly served the people and leaves behind a legacy of compassion, kindness, and care. May she rest in peace” Aseefa Bhutto tweeted on Friday.
Renowned author Fatima Bhutto also expressed sorrow and mentioned that Bilquis served Pakistan’s poor and abandoned with great spirit her entire life.
MQM-P Senator Faisal Subzwari said Pakistanis would remember her for eternity as he prayed for her forgiveness.
“Bilqis Edhi was a compassionate and a humane face of Pakistani society,” wrote former information minister Fawad Chaudhry.