US authorities have threatened Pakistan’s most respected citizen Abdul Sattar Edhi with deportation, he said. “I just received a telephone call from someone, telling me that I am being deported,” Mr Edhi, who is now in New York told Dawn.
He said he was stopped at the airport in London when he tried to board a plane for New York on Jan 8. Mr Edhi then contacted the US Embassy in London who gave him a letter which allowed him to proceed to New York. The letter also advised him to see US authorities on Feb 18 to clear whatever misunderstandings they may have about him.
Mr Edhi arrived in New York on Jan 9 and was detained at the airport for eight hours.
“They were questioning me why I look the way I look,” said Mr Edhi who has a long beard and always wears traditional Pakistani dress along with a traditional cap.
“They also wanted to know why I visit the United States so regularly,” he said. “I told them I am a social worker. What else I do? I only do social work,” said Mr Edhi who has branches of his trust in several US cities.
“If they do not let me work here, I will work somewhere else.”
Not only was Abdul Sattar Edhi detained by US immigration officials, but he was asked what terrorist organization he belonged to, and that his attire resembled a terrorist’s. This is reportedly not the first time that US immigration officials have harassed him. Keeping an 80-year old man in detention who has spent most of his life serving not only Pakistan, but those in need around the world, just serves to remind me what a terrible terrible world it is that we live in today.