Posthumous award: Khursheed Shah makes a Nobel case for Edhi
ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah has written a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee for awarding its prestigious peace prize to the late philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi.
The five-member Norwegian panel selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize every year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel’s will.
Making a case for Edhi’s nomination, the PPP leader wrote about the humanitarian’s unmatched services towards people and how he was loved and respected in Pakistan as well as across South Asia.
Edhi, who died on July 8, was the founder of the largest non-profit social welfare organisation in Pakistan known as the Edhi Foundation. His organization has held the Guinness record for the world’s largest volunteer ambulance service since 1997.
The foundation also owns and runs Pakistan’s largest ambulance service as well as nursing homes, orphanages, clinics and women shelters, along
“[Edhi] proved his commitment to humanity beyond any discrimination and prejudice. This level of trust of millions of people was earned through decades of devoted, consistent and transparent efforts,” Khursheed Shah wrote in the letter.
He concluded his case by reiterating that Edhi’s services to humanity were “unmatched”, and that he had a strong claim to the Nobel Peace Prize.
Most Pakistanis concur if there is any person more deserving of this prestigious award, it is Edhi.
Soon after Edhi’s death, Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf joined the chorus for posthumously awarding the iconic social activist with a Nobel for his humanitarian work.
Malala said she had nominated Edhi for the Nobel Peace Prize 2016 because she believed he was the “most deserving person for this award”.
Musharraf insisted that Edhi deserved the Nobel prize during his lifetime, and even more than Mother Teresa.
Despite the vociferous appeals, a Nobel prize for Edhi may be impossible. According to the official website of the Nobel Foundation, statutes since 1974 stipulate that a prize cannot be awarded posthumously unless the nominee’s death has occurred after the announcement.
Before 1974 as well, the Nobel prize was only awarded posthumously twice: to Dag Hammerskjold (for peace in 1961) and Erik Axel Karlfeldt (for literature in 1931).