Army Chief, CM Shehbaz Sharif attend Edhi’s funeral

Pakistan's new army chief General Raheel Sharif attends the change of command ceremony in Rawalpindi on November 29, 2013. General Raheel Sharif formally took over as the head of Pakistan's army, the most powerful position in the troubled military-dominated nation which is battling a homegrown Taliban insurgency. AFP PHOTO/Aamir QURESHI

KARACHI: Legendary social worker, humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi will be laid to rest in Karachi today (Saturday) after he passed away due to severe kidney problems at 92.

The Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif has arrived in Karachi to attend Edhi’s funeral ceremony, DG ISPR Lt Gen Asim Bajwa said in a tweet.

He said army, Rangers and other law enforcement agencies personnel will unite to ensure safety for the mourners. A military guard of honour and gun salute will be presented at the funeral, he said.

Strict security measures have been taken for the funeral, which is expected to be attended by thousands of mourners and high profile figures.

President Mamnoon Hussain, Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif, his Sindh counterpart Qaim Ali Shah, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad, IG Sindh AD Khawaja, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and Corps Commander Karachi Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar are the highest officials who are set to attend the funeral.

As a part of the security plan the Karachi Traffic Police has designated different entry points for public and VIPs.

“The public will be allowed to enter the National Stadium through gate number 4, 5 ,6 and 8,” said DIG Traffic Amir Sheikh.

“The VIPs and VVIPs, most of whom will be coming from areas of Defence, Clifton and Sharah-e-Faisal, will enter through the main gate, gate number 1 and 2,” he added.

Sheikh further appealed to the people to co-ordinate with the organisers and the security personnel as the measures taken are strict amidst the threats the country is facing.

“Edhi’s death is a big occasion not only nationally but also internationally and anyone can make wrong use of this situation,” he said.

“Therefore I strongly appeal to the public to coordinate.”

After the prayers, Edhi’s body will be taken to the Edhi Village for burial.

Security officials from the Army, Rangers and Police commandos have been deployed around the National Stadium as well as on all the routes leading to the venue. According to a press release by the IG Sindh’s office, no one will be allowed to enter the venue without getting searched.

“He wished to be buried in the same clothes he used to wear. He also wanted to donate his body parts, but only his cornea can be donated as rest of the organs were not in healthy condition,” said Edhi’s son Faisal Edhi.

Edhi was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2013 but had been unable to get a transplant due to frail health. He was receiving treatment at the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT).

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