"But in the process of raising awareness to accountability, I realized that neither I nor anyone else, visible on the political scene understood the core issues of the people; suggesting solutions to their woes was therefore meaningless and unqualified. I also recognized the importance of preserving the two assets I had attained from my struggle, courage and the freedom of speech. Both, I concluded, would be diluted if I lent them to any existing political sector. That politics gave me no scope to serve the people became clear, and the need to understand the core problems of the people became the road that led me to Mr. Abdul Satar Edhi. A man perceived by most as a simple social worker.
I recognized him as a role model for the world.
With him, I stepped onto the other side of the divide, the side on which the people lived instead of the one on which the leadership basked.
Practical involvement in Mr. Edhi's work is natural to anyone in his presence. Bathing corpses and wrapping coffins, spending entire days at collapsed building sites, in psychiatric centers and orphanages was very much a part of writing his narrated autobiography, A mirror to the blind.
Mr. Edhi's book was therefore a fit outcome of my own search for truth."
In my address at the Mayor of Milan's reception for Mr. Abdul Satar Edhi, Pakistan's social reformer, (referred to by many as the twenty-first century Gandhi, and as St. Francisco by Madam Ciampi, the wife of Italy's president.) Mr. Edhi received the over 100 thousand $ Balzan peace award in November 2000, and I expressed a very serious concern for world peace. The fact that Islam's heroes were all militants, suicide bombings were to be expected. Confrontation unto death was their most popular slogan. Holy wars were fashionable.
The Muslim multitudes were hungry, angry, unread, direction-less and armed. Liberals and intellectuals were not united, Muslim immigrations were countless and conversions to Islam were at their peak. I stressed that as the Muslim world can no longer be fought, it has to be integrated.
I explained that Mr. Edhi as a role model for the Muslim world could steer the Muslim people away from Militant Jihad to humanitarian Jihad. But, only IF the Muslim people had that choice. The mayor of Milan presented me an award for that statement…and corrected me by emphasizing that Mr. Edhi is a role model for the entire world not just for the Muslims.
Tehmina introduces Mr. Abdul Sattar Eidhi & recieves an award for Powerful Author at
Pakistan Power 100, UK
"...Let me end by informing you that Edhi Sahib has not taken a single holiday in his entire lifetime, nor has he slept a single night without being on emergency call in our service. He has never taken even a token financial assistance from any government in the world including our own in Pakistan. He has refused the aid of all donor agencies including The World Bank, USAID, UN, and The Vatican to name a few.
He has always and only accepted funds from the people of Pakistan to create a Social Welfare Industry, in which the people are shareholders… not beggars for charity….Instead, Edhi Sahib himself has spent his lifetime begging for us.
Edhi Sahib has established a network that runs the length and breadth of Pakistan at every twenty-five kilometers. He has provided Pakistan with the largest ambulance service in the world…and in case you are not aware, when you call 115,
anywhere in Pakistan, you are connected with the emergency service of Edhi Foundation..."