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A day after the Edhi Foundation of Pakistan returned Geeta to India, it declined the donation of Rs1 crore which India had extended in appreciation of Edhi’s role in looking after Geeta in Karachi. Edhi Foundation said that it was unable to accept India’s donation as the foundation avoided government support of all sorts.
The announcement declining the Indian donation was made in Karachi at a press conference addressed by Faisal Edhi, managing trustee of the Edhi Foundation and Anwar Kazmi, the spokesperson and secretary of the charity. “We thank the Indian government for extending support to us with one crore rupees, but we are unable to accept this cash as Edhi Foundation does not associate itself with any government of the world,” Mr Kazmi told The Hindu from Karachi.
Edhi Foundation, in response to the communally charged atmosphere of Karachi, has never accepted cash or financial support from government sources, Mr. Kazmi said. He said that successive Pakistani governments of Gen Zia-ul Haq, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had made several attempts to donate financial packages to Edhi, but they were declined by the foundation. “Edhi Foundation runs on the goodwill and love which naturally generates financial support from the civil society,” Mr. Kazmi said.
India’s donation had sparked a major debate in Pakistani channels and Twitter as many Pakistanis felt that Edhi Foundation had violated its own principles by declining the gift immediately. The donation and some of the comments that were made in Monday’s press conference addressed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj started a major political debate in Pakistan. The turning down of the donation also triggered a confusing exchange of words in Delhi as sources in the Ministry of External Affairs refused to accept that the Edhi Foundation had declined India’s gift. However, by evening, The Hinduwas told by the Edhi Foundation that the founder of the organisation, Abdul Sattar Edhi, would feel happy if the donated amount was used for aurally and verbally challenged girl children of India.
From: The Hindu