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Dr Ruth Pfau laid to rest in a state funeral

20 August, 2017

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KARACHI: A state funeral with full national honours was held in Karachi for Dr Ruth Pfau, Pakistan's 'Mother Teresa', who passed away earlier this month at the age of 87.

On Saturday morning, armed forces personnel carried her casket into St Patrick's Cathedral in downtown area of city's Saddar town. The coffin was wrapped with Pakistani flag and covered with rose petals.

She was laid to rest in Karachi's historical Christian Cemetery also known as Gora Qabaristan.

Earlier, Dr Ruth's body was brought to St Patrick's Cathedral in Saddar from Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC), in a gun convoy, where last rites were performed. The flag of Vatican City was also hoisted at the cathedral Saturday morning, while the national flag of Pakistan remained at half-mast.

A gun-salute was offered during the funeral proceedings. Contingents of the Pakistani armed forces were also present at the funeral. This was the second state funeral to have taken place in Pakistan over the past 29 years, with the last one accorded last year to late philanthropist and renowned humanitarian Abdul Sattar Edhi.

Dr Pfau spent her life to help leprosy patients and she was one of the founders of the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Centre (MALC), Karachi.

The burial ceremony was attended by many state dignitaries, including President Mamnoon Hussain, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Air Chief Marshal Sohail Aman and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, each of whom laid floral wreaths on her grave as a mark of respect.

Hundreds of her admirers and common citizens also attended the funeral services to pay tribute to the great lady.

The Sindh government in recognition of legendary Dr Ruth Pfau's services has announced to name Civil Hospital Karachi after her.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah after attending her funeral directed Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon to issue a notification to name Civil Hospital as Dr Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital Karachi.

"She had dedicated her entire life to fight leprosy in the country, particularly in Sindh, and founded a dedicated hospital in the city, [so] it becomes our responsibility to name one of the largest hospitals, Civil Hospital Karachi, after her," he said.

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