Pakistan has released a commemorative coin for Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, a German physician and Catholic nun who dedicated her life to eradicating leprosy. Known as "Pakistan's Mother Teresa," Sister Pfau died at 87 in August 2017 after spending 57 years in the country. She was accorded a full state funeral, a first for a Christian woman in the Muslim-majority nation. Born in Leipzig in 1929, she arrived in Karachi in 1960 en route to India and volunteered at a leprosy colony. She was a member of the Society of Daughters of the Heart of Mary. State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Tariq Bajwa and German ambassador to Pakistan Martin Kobler unveiled the 50-rupee commemorative coin at the bank's headquarters in Karachi. It was available for public issuance across the country through SBP Banking Service Corporation offices from May 9.
Sister Pfau was an emblem of devotion, commitment and service to Pakistan. Her untiring efforts meant Pakistan became one of the first countries in Asia to bring leprosy under control. Her contribution to society was acknowledged by the people and state during her lifetime. She was honored with the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Nishan-e-Quaid-i-Azam and Hilal-i-Pakistan civil awards. Bajwa said commemorative coins had previously been issued for such great people as Quaid-i-Azam, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Fatima Jinnah and Abdul Sattar Edhi
. Kobler thanked the SBP and the Pakistan government for recognizing Sister Pfau's services to the country. He said she was a real ambassador for Germany and a source of connection between the two countries.