Edhi disappointed with US’ ‘discriminatory behaviour’
* Says last time they held him while 300 children were trapped in a Clifton fire
KARACHI: Edhi Welfare Trust founder Abdul Sattar Edhi has expressed his grief over what he referred to as the discriminatory behaviour of the United States of America Immigration Department during his visit. Edhi stated this during a press conference held soon after his arrival in Pakistan from New York.
According to the statement issued Monday, Edhi said that the US has every right to take preventive measures for internal security, but human rights should not be violated. Developed countries criticize countries of the third world for human rights violations, but human rights are violated even more in developed countries. If this goes on then only God can help His people.
Edhi was once held during a very crucial period; at that time, more than 300 helpless and orphan girls were trapped because of a fire incident in Clifton, Karachi. He failed to get to them in time because of his detention, said Edhi.
“Now this is the third time the US immigration has interrogated and detained me for eight to nine hours. My clothes - a shalwar suit, a cap and a beard - made me a victim of discrimination. I told the authorities about my purpose for visiting the US, which was for nothing but welfare work,” Edhi said.
How could US authorities be ignorant of him? The international media has discussed many times his role in humanitarian work all over the world, Edhi argued.
He added that his goal was to serve humanity and he did not belong to any prejudiced racial or religious group. The developed countries should help in providing food, medicine and work for the elimination of poverty from the third world. Instead, they provoke wars and killings. Edhi appealed to the USA to avoid human rights violations under the pretext of terrorism.
Edhi said that his services to humanity for the last 70 years are like an open book. Whether it is a local disaster or an international incident, Edhi’s wife and son get there without any delay.
At the time when the Lal Masjid incident happened in Rawalpindi, the US authorities held him, and he was only allowed back after President Musharraf’s intervention, he recalled. “No power will stop me from serving humanity. I will continue my welfare work irrespective of religion, race or colour,” Edhi vowed.
He said that he was a peace-loving and law-abiding human and always respected the domestic laws of the countries he had been to.
Edhi thanked President Pervez Musharraf for his reaction when he was detained. He also extended thanks to the US Consulate in Karachi for assistance in his return to Pakistan.