Realizing the true character and selfless dedication of Abdul Sattar Edhi to Pakistan and its citizens, the Jinnah Society unanimously chose him for the First Jinnah Award in April, 1998 and I still re-call with pride my first meeting with him in early 1998 when I went to his office in Karachi to seek his concurrence for acceptance of the Jinnah Award.
The first ever Jinnah Award in Pakistan was conferred on Edhi on April 3, 1998 at Quaid-i-Azam House Museum where Jinnah Society had arranged an elaborate programme. The first was conferred on Edhi by the then Governor of Sindh Lt. Gen Moinuddin Haider. This event received very wide coverage in the print media and forms part of Jinnah Society records and is also recorded in the Jinnah Anthology which was compiled and edited by Prof Sharif Al Mujahid and myself. This event and the photographs that we have of Abdul Sattar Edhi will always remain alive in our hearts as a person like Abdul Sattar Edhi is born perhaps only once in a 100 years.
Liaquat H. Merchant
Jinnah Society Karachi
Published in Dawn, July 12th, 2016