ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Friday lauded the services of renowned social worker and philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi and called on the nation to pray for his health, after the 92-year old national icon was reportedly put on ventilator at a hospital in Karachi.

“He (Edhi) is, and always will be, a patriot and a philanthropist worthy of every ounce of praise given to him. May we be united in our prayers for him and his health. God bless him, and his family,” said a statement issued by the PM’s Media Office here.

The statement said, “There are few men who have done as much good, and made as much a difference to the lives and livelihoods of the Pakistani people as Abdul Sattar Edhi.

“His tireless work has helped save hundreds of thousands of lives, and shown us what it means to be a man who works for the people.”

The Prime Minister conveyed that, despite all his success, Edhi had always stayed humble, living a simple life in a small house.

“In his most difficult hour, may God bestow upon him all the fortune that he bestowed upon the people of this country and treat him with the care that a man of his stature deserves,” he added.

In an unrelated development, the premier ordered the beefing up rescue and relief efforts in rain and flood-hit areas of Chitral.

He also directed officials concerned to assess the damages caused by recent flash floods.

The Prime Minister assured maximum outreach and use of all available resources for the victims of the disaster, especially proper medical care, food and shelter.

He nominated Engr Ameer Muqam as the focal person for rescue and relief efforts in Chitral, who would update him about their progress on a regular basis.