Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of the Edhi Foundation, is the most renowned philanthropist in Pakistan. - Photo by Dawn.com

KARACHI: Pakistan's most revered social worker has been given round-the-clock protection against an alleged Taliban threat, officials said Friday.

Abdul Sattar Edhi, 85, runs the country's largest charity, which operates hundreds of ambulances and shelters for women, children and the destitute.

Described as a “living saint” for his modest lifestyle and charitable crusade, Edhi has won international peace awards and is one of Pakistan's most popular figures.

But for the first time he now has round-the-clock police protection in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city of 18 million where he is based.

“There is a threat to him by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which wants to kidnap him and use him to get their detained militants released in exchange,” a Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Two armed policemen, who each work a 12-hour shift, have been going everywhere with Edhi since June 5, the official said.

Aslam Khan, a senior police official, said “a letter containing a hit-list has been intercepted, which includes Edhi and two police officials, including me,” he said.

Khan and Rao Anwar, the other police official on the alleged hit list, have both narrowly escaped bomb attacks in Karachi claimed by the TTP.

Khan's house was flattened by a powerful bomb on September 19, 2011, while he was sleeping. He escaped unhurt but eight people were killed.

Anwar was in an armoured personnel carrier on April 5 when it was rammed by a motorcyclist laden with explosives, killing four people.

Edhi said he was carrying on regardless. “I have accepted the guards, but that won't deter me from doing my job to serve my people,” he told AFP.

But Edhi's son and deputy, Faisal, told AFP that the Taliban had visited his father's office on June 6 to assure him that he was not a target.

“They told my father that they respect him and admire whatever he does, and won't target him ever,” Faisal told AFP.

More From This Section

SC has learnt to bolster democracy, says chief justice

Authority of SC may be extended to a number of areas from which it has historically maintained a distance, said CJ.

Quetta violence claims at least four lives

Armed militants killed a police officer and critically injured his son on Quetta's troubled Sariab road area.

Musharraf likely to travel to Karachi today

Sources said Musharraf's likely visit to Karachi is on account of security issues and to continue of his treatment.

Nation standing firm beside armed forces: PM

The prime minister was addressing the passing out parade of the 129th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course on Saturday.

Comments are closed.

Comments (33)

Karachi Wala
June 15, 2012 12:22 pm
If these threats are real, the only way protecting Mr. Edhi is, wherever he goes there should always be at least one very high ranking politician traveling with him. This should be done regardless of the politician’s political affiliation or each party should take a turn. The poor policemen will only die when he is abducted, or like in the case of Salman Taaseer, might well be involved.
June 15, 2012 3:34 pm
Edhi is just doing a Publicity Stunt..He is not that important
June 15, 2012 12:13 pm
There ideology of hate would not spare any one.
Agha Ata
June 15, 2012 12:31 pm
Two armed policemen? And they, too, working in shifts? One at a time, to protect Sattar Edhi? That is not even a good joke to laugh at. What would they do if a van stops in a lonely street (or even not in a lonely street) and half a dozen healthy fighters of Taliban jump out and take hold of Edhi? Would that police man be able to protect himself and manage to be alive when it is all over? Sattar Edhi would be kidnapped alright, but the poor policeman will be killed. SECURITY in Pakistan should think of some logical methods of protecting one of the greatest men of the country. This protection provided is 100% worse than security provided to Benazir Bhutto.
June 15, 2012 3:54 pm
The statement by Edhi's son is baffling "But Edhi’s son and deputy, Faisal, told AFP that the Taliban had visited his father’s office on June 6 to assure him that he was not a target. “They told my father that they respect him and admire whatever he does, and won’t target him ever,” Faisal told AFP. So these Talibans runaround in the city in the open and pay a visit (of either respect or destruction) to whomever they like, without any consequences :-)
June 15, 2012 1:23 pm
he needs more security. He is the hero !
June 15, 2012 10:41 am
May God Protect him. He is really a 'living saint'
June 15, 2012 11:02 am
God forbid that the day come when Pakistan should lose its biggest hero in its short history to the beasts who have been misguiding many to become cannon fodder. Abdul Sattar Edhi God bless you in every sense of the word.
Manzoor Elahi
June 15, 2012 7:33 pm
Wishing Mr. Edhi a long life.. His contributions are too huge for anyone to truly understand, leave alone duplicate.
June 15, 2012 6:57 pm
A wizard too evade a house. Apeal to TTP for God sake save the old venerable living saint of world.
June 15, 2012 6:54 pm
He is the only person that can bring termendous POSITIVE attention to Pakistan before it is too late. He deservs salute from humanity!
Salim India
June 15, 2012 4:39 pm
You look at him and the peace and serenity flows from his face
June 15, 2012 4:25 pm
Mr Ravi - The Saint does need not publicity , Publicity comes to him 24 hours a day Like mother Teressa . The 85 Years old man spent all his life try to make human being regardless of religion, creed,colour or race better and provide shelter and food . He may be not important to you, but millions of unfortunate people around the Globe need his help and consider him a saint . Important or not important does not bother him. What bothers him the most is the selfish people like you , who does not want to help the poor , but rather critise millions of people who extends their hand to work with him.
June 15, 2012 12:07 pm
Although I am against the Taliban but I cant expect it from them. Taliban cannot be that worse, although we disagree with their ideology. Yes it can be done by the agencies of US to create hatered against TTP.
Mohammad Ali Khan
June 15, 2012 12:04 pm
Only a very sick mind can think of harming Mr.Edhi.
Sami Ullah
June 15, 2012 12:02 pm
I think the Government will fail to provide security and protection to this unique social worker, the police even cannot protect themselves how they will save the said hero life.
June 15, 2012 12:01 pm
Zero tolerance towards alQaeda, Taliban/TTP if we want to safe the country. Real living saint, Abdul Sattar Edhi should be protected at all means.
m h
June 15, 2012 11:46 am
Well, one has to wonder, would you really want to be 'protected' by Pakistani Police? After all, they haven't done a very good job on 'protecting' the rest of the ciitizens of Pakistan.
Kouser Izhar
June 15, 2012 11:43 am
He needs highest protection from the best security team - Judiciary, Army and Rangers should grant him protection right away
June 15, 2012 11:38 am
Edhi should fear the ruling elite and ruling class rather than anyone else
June 18, 2012 1:46 pm
Now this is the height of barbarism----wanting to kill a person who does o much good.Quran Sharif ka mutaela kabhi ki hei inho nein?Doubt it very much.
Ali H. Ayub
June 15, 2012 1:11 pm
yeah, they lay one hand on him and i will personally go --- the people will personally go -- and grab these TTP walas by their scraggly beards this is obviously not about Islamism. TTP are just terrorists, and soon hopefully they will receive lead bullets between their eyes when they are all caught.
June 15, 2012 1:08 pm
Aizaz Moin
June 15, 2012 11:16 am
Oh for God's sake why this poor old man? Just shows how desperate they really are and yet people still join them in droves. What has this country descended to?
June 16, 2012 2:33 am
It seems he is the only one doing something and care for Pakistan, if anything happens to him, it will do nothing but add to the misery of Pakistan.
June 16, 2012 2:55 am
Molana Edhi does NOT need publicity. He is a well known personality.
June 16, 2012 3:01 am
I'm not a Pakistani and I should not be commenting here but whatsoever I have read about Edhi Saab, I have utmost respect for him and his work speaks for itself. Its high time for Pakistani to stop living in denial and try to fix the terrorism problem thats stemming out from the region.
Baba Sidni
June 16, 2012 4:57 am
I will join you, just tell me the date and place.
Sadia Mahmud
June 16, 2012 4:59 am
Maybe Taliban can learn from Edhi Sahib's life what a true Muslim is like! God bless Edhi Sahib
Baba Sidni
June 16, 2012 4:59 am
He is important to me.
July 19, 2012 10:05 am
May Allah protect eidhi n long healthy life he is pride of Pakistan ".........I think their is no such social worker any where in world ........
June 16, 2012 6:10 pm
Mr. Edhi is a great person, Wishing him a long life, may god bless him with good health.
July 16, 2012 8:55 am
Like many other great peoples killed in last two decades its a conspiracy of those killers to kill Edhi but their propaganda works and everyone thinking that Edhi will be killed by TTP but Not really. Never proven that when a call receive for acceptance of any incident by TTP. Its a simple way to put every blame on an unseen subject.
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper