Deplorable: Iconic Humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi Facing Deportation From US, Passport Siezed

Posted on January 29, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Foreign Relations, Law & Justice, People
85 Comments
Total Views: 115062

Adil Najam

Hassan Abbas from WatanDost just alerted me to this most deplorable and shocking news. According to the Daily Times:

Renowned social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi was interrogated by US immigration officials at the JF Kennedy Airport in New York, who also seized his passport and other documents, a private TV channel reported on Monday. Edhi told Geo News that US immigration officials had questioned him for eight hours at the airport. “They asked me why I don’t reside permanently in the US despite having a green card,” he said. “I told them that I’m a social worker and I have to travel extensively around the world, and so cannot live there permanently,” he added.



Edhi said he had faced the same behaviour from US immigration officials when he visited America in June last year. According to Geo News, the immigration officials allowed him to leave following the intervention of Pakistani officials, but did not return his passport and other documents. Edhi said the US officials, through a letter, had also asked him to appear in court for a hearing on February 20. Separately, talking to News One television channel, Edhi said US authorities apparently wanted to hinder his social work. He said he, his wife and their granddaughter had been living in a small room for the last month as the US authorities were refusing to return his passport.

In an earlier news story, Dawn had reported:

US authorities have threatened Pakistan’s most respected citizen Abdul Sattar Edhi with deportation, he said. “I just received a telephone call from someone, telling me that I am being deported,” Mr Edhi, who is now in New York told Dawn. He said he was stopped at the airport in London when he tried to board a plane for New York on Jan 8.

Mr Edhi then contacted the US Embassy in London who gave him a letter which allowed him to proceed to New York. The letter also advised him to see US authorities on Feb 18 to clear whatever misunderstandings they may have about him. Mr Edhi arrived in New York on Jan 9 and was detained at the airport for eight hours. “They were questioning me why I look the way I look,” said Mr Edhi who has a long beard and always wears traditional Pakistani dress along with a traditional cap.

“They also wanted to know why I visit the United States so regularly,” he said. “I told them I am a social worker. What else I do? I only do social work,” said Mr Edhi who has branches of his trust in several US cities. “If they do not let me work here, I will work somewhere else.”

ATP know of my reveration – aqeedat – for the amazing humanitarian work that Abdul Sattar Edhi does (also see here, here and here).

Indeed, this admiration is shared not only by many other Pakistanis but by so many around the world who follow daily miracles that Edhi Foundation performs in some of the most telling places in the world. A look at the over 250 comments on my post about him which suggested that he should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is testimony to this admiration, indeed devotion.

Here are excerpts from what I had written then; events since then have again highlighted just how important a human treasure he is not just to Pakistan but to the world:

Here is a man who has dedicated his whole life to serving the most marginalized and the most wretched in society. The destitutes, the mentally ill, corpses left by the roadside, children abandoned at his doorsteps, women kicked out by their families. When there is no one to go to, there is always Edhi Sahib to go to.

As importantly, he has done this – in his words – ‘wholesale’. He has single handedly built – literally by begging – a social services structure at a national scale. Bigger than what governments have. He has never taken a ruppee as salary himself. He lives in a two room apartment that most middle class Pakistanis would not call home and he oversees the largest ambulance network in the world, now with airplanes and helicopters, a multi-million dollar enterprise of relief, of goodwill, and of humanitarianism. If he does not deserve the Nobel Award, I do not know who does.

The Nobel Peace Prize has not come yet. But this humiliation has. Deplorable.

85 responses to “Deplorable: Iconic Humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi Facing Deportation From US, Passport Siezed”

  1. EX BOY FRIEND OF SARAH says:

    WHAT EDHI WHAT NOBLE PEOPLE

    THEY ARE CHEATERS, THEIR GRAND DAUGHTER WAS MY EX GIRL FRIEND

    AND SHE DUMPED ME AND ELOPED WITH AN IDIOT BECAUSE SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH HIS CHILD..

    IF EVER THESE WERE GOOD PEOPLE, THIS LADY WOULD NOT DO WHAT SHE DID!

    GIRLS WHO COME FROM GOOD FAMILIES DONT DO SUCH THINGS!

    AND HER REAL NAME IS ZULEKHA EDHI – I USE TO CALL HER SARAH

  2. Fatima says:

    First of all…….I salute Dr. Edhi sahab!!
    Secoondly, i am proud to be a Pakistani.
    And I do not live in Pakistan!!But i would rather die than lie about my country and where i am from and the country and land and people which are my identity!!

    I AM PROUD TO BE A PAKISTANI!! Always have been and always will be!!
    Allah bless Pakistan and make us a better nation!Ameen!

  3. Pakturk says:

    As Edhi works for the sake of humanity, he hasnt lost anything but has surely got the pleasure of the creator of the Universe (ALLAH.J.J). What if we all start to work like Edhi not exact like but at least little. If we could not get any wordly reward, We challeneg that if you work for the sake of humanity without expecting any thing, you will get the reward from your LORD in the hearafter. We hope that you have at least got something from our left message. Fe Amman Allah.

  4. Asif Beg says:

    @Syed:

  5. SYED says:

    hi all
    Being a pakistani citizen livin in the uk i wudnt have have found this article surprising if it was about another pakistani citizen….
    But this time “these ppl” have crossed al limits of being racist and facist the worst part is that pakistani ppl living in uk and us never found these americans and britishers to be racist at all ….. the grudge these americans and britishers have got against us is un compareable … its true that they hate us and to show their might and hieght of hatred they have now accused our best man, its all to let us know that whatever we do no matter how successful we are we will stil remain a PAKI in their eyes … the way they treat our ppl on every day basis is horrifying i see poor pakistani ladies being called ” a mad paki ” on the street but as she belongs to the most remote areas of pakistan all she could do is to smile and say thank you …. i think its all up to the pakistanis living in these western countries to tell their so called rulers that they are no t insects …. most of our ppl living in these countries feel so ashamed to call themselves pakistanis that they wud rather call themselves indians ( esp pakistanis in canada ) … its all because of the image that these people have drawn about themselves in american mind …. they came from pakistan as cheap labour now their children come on assylum and marriage visas and all they do is milk these countrys benefit system and do tax fraud plus if they are asked about their beloved land all they have to say is ” oh dnt ask about pakistan, oh please dnt send us back, oh pakistan is a bad place, oh GOVT will kill us in pakistan ” this is what americans get to hear from assylum seekers from pakistan every day this will definately not cast a good image of of our country and its ppl …..

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)

Keep comments on topic; no personal attacks; do not submit indecent, inflammatory, slanderous, uncivil or irrelevant comments; flamers and trolls are not welcome. Inappropriate comments will be removed or edited. If you will not say it to someones face, then do not say it here. Please.

*