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Edhi Foundation fears drop in donations due to smear campaign

Edhi Foundation fears drop in donations due to smear campaign

KARACHI: Philanthro­pist Abdul Sattar Edhi’s son, Faisal, fears that the Edhi Foundation may see a decline in donations because some people have been maligning his late father and spreading rumours about him.

“There is a risk of lack of donations for the organisation because an active campaign is run against the Edhi Foundation every year,” said Faisal Edhi in an interview with BBC Urdu on Monday, according to

“Many people contribute to the foundation because of Edhi’s personality and his work,” he said, adding that there were many rumours in Ramazan that he had already passed away.

This, he explained, led certain elements to spread negative propaganda and rumours in order to keep people from donating to the foundation.

According to Edhi’s eldest son, the rumours were spread by “people who are backward, reactionary and hold extremist views”. He said that maulvis and capitalists had always detested his father.

“In their Friday sermons, many mullahs called him Ahmadi, sometimes a kaafir, or an Ismaili and urged people not to donate or give charity to the foundation,” he said, adding that he failed to understand what the motivation behind this propaganda was as the organisation always had less in donations as compared to mosques and seminaries.

Now, Faisal said, the only thing he could do was pray and request others to forgive him and let his father be. “He is dead now,” he said, adding that there was no point in issuing fatwas against him.

The funeral

Edhi passed away at the age of 88 in Karachi last week. A state funeral was held for the philanthropist at the National Stadium Karachi amid tight security. President Mamnoon Hussain and all three chiefs of the armed forces were present alongside other top military and civilian leadership.

The police had designated separate entry points to the venue for the public and VIPs. Security personnel from the army, Rangers and police commandos were deployed in and around the stadium as well as on all routes leading to the venue.

Faisal disagreed with criticism that the state had hijacked his father’s funeral.

“People said that they faced a lot of difficulties in reaching [the funeral venue], and that they came out of their love and support for Edhi,” he said.

“The state has a responsibility and a way of doing things. Even if we disagree with them, even if it might be flawed, I believe what the state did was for the best,” he added.

Edhi, the father Faisal also discussed the ideological underpinnings of the organisation and his upbringing. He said that Edhi was a man who held socialist ideals and brought him up with those principles.

“We will take the foundation forward based on those principles, even if we have to run it on the footpaths,” he said. “May Allah grant me the courage and strength to run the Edhi Foundation along the right path and as well as my father did.”

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2016

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