Pakistan day

This meeting highlighted the events that marked the differences between Muslims and Hindus and reiterated the need for a nation-state one that would eventually become Pakistan. In August ofindependence was gained from the British Raj and Pakistan was formed as a constitutional monarchy. Two years later, a basic constitution was drafted. It did so on March 23rd,

Pakistan day

Within a few moments of shaking hands, I knew I was in the presence of moral and spiritual greatness. Mr Edhi's life story is awesome, as I learnt when I spent two weeks working at one of his ambulance centres in Karachi.

The year-old lives in the austerity that has been his hallmark all his life.

World’s First Muslim Republic

He wears blue overalls and sports a Jinnah cap, so named because it was the head gear of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. No Pakistani since Jinnah has commanded the same reverence, and our conversations were constantly interrupted as people came to pay their respects.

Mr Edhi told me that, 60 years ago, he stood on a street corner in Karachi and begged for money for an ambulance, raising enough to buy a battered old van.

In it, he set out on countless life-saving missions. Gradually, Mr Edhi set up centres all over Pakistan. He diversified into orphanages, homes for the mentally ill, drug rehabilitation centres and hostels for abandoned women.

He fed the poor and buried the dead. His compassion was boundless. He was born inwhen the British Empire was at its height, in Gujarat in what is now western India.

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But he and his family were forced to flee for their lives in when the division of India and creation of Pakistan inspired terrible communal tensions: This was the moment Mr Edhi, finding himself penniless on the streets of Karachi, set out on his life's mission. Just 20 years old, he volunteered to join a charity run by the Memons, the Islamic religious community to which his family belonged.

At first, Mr Edhi welcomed his duties; then he was appalled to discover that the charity's compassion was confined to Memons.

He confronted his employers, telling them that "humanitarian work loses its significance when you discriminate between the needy". So he set up a small medical centre of his own, sleeping on the cement bench outside his shop so that even those who came late at night could be served.

But he also had to face the enmity of the Memons, and became convinced they were capable of having him killed. For safety, and in search of knowledge, he set out on an overland journey to Europe, begging all the way.

Pakistan day

One morning, he awoke on a bench at Rome railway station to discover his shoes had been stolen. He was not bothered, considering them inessential.

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Nevertheless, the next day an elderly lady gave him a pair of gumboots, two sizes too large, and Mr Edhi wobbled about in them for the remainder of his journey. In London, he was a great admirer of the British welfare state, though he presciently noted its potential to encourage a culture of dependency.

He was offered a job but refused, telling his benefactor: There was no welfare state in Fifties Pakistan: This was a difficult period in his life.

Shabby, bearded and with no obvious prospects, seven women in rapid succession turned down his offers of marriage.England begin well with the bat - Alastair Cook making 46 - after James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes take three wickets each in Pakistan's all out. DUBAI: Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, lit up with the colours of the Pakistani flag on Thursday night to celebrate the 78th Pakistan Day.

Nawaz Sharif return sets stage for ‘historic’ day in Pakistan. Police put up barricades on Lahore streets ahead of ousted prime minister’s arrival.

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Pakistan day

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