Canberra: Pakistani High Commissioner to Australia Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri this week share memories of my multiple interactions with the great social worker Abdul Sattar Edhi.

“Honoured to share memories of my multiple interactions with Abdul Sattar Edhi Sb #Edhi at a memorial organised by CLI at the Australian National University to pay tribute to the greatest humanitarian of our time,” he tweeted.

Abdul Sattar Edhi was a humanitarian and philanthropist who founded the Edhi Foundation, which runs the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network, along with various homeless shelters, animal shelters, rehabilitation centres, and orphanages across Pakistan. Following his death, his son Faisal Edhi took over as head of the Edhi Foundation.

Edhi’s charitable activities expanded greatly in 1957 when an Asian flu epidemic (originating in China) swept through Pakistan and the rest of the world. Donations allowed him to buy his first ambulance the same year. He later expanded his charity network with the help of his wife Bilquis Edhi.

Over his lifetime, the Edhi Foundation expanded, backed entirely by private donations, which included establishing a network of 1,800 ambulances.

By the time of his death, Edhi was registered as a parent or guardian of nearly 20,000 adopted children. He is known amongst Pakistanis as the “Angel of Mercy” and is considered to be Pakistan’s most respected and legendary figure. In 2013, The Huffington Post claimed that he might be “the world’s greatest living humanitarian”. He died in July 2016 and was buried with full state honours.

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