Town mourns death of Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir

Pakistan       by Sarfraz Ali | Published

"Asma Jahangir struggled for human rights and democracy", said Zardari.

Her spokesperson said Jahangir was taken to a private hospital on Ferozepur Road after suffering a cardiac arrest today where she breathed her last.

She also founded the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, was co-chair of South Asians for Human Right, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or summary executions, and later the United Nations Rapporteur of Freedom of religion or belief.

She was a co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and also a co-founder of the Women's Action Forum, which was set up to oppose law that had reduced a woman's testimony in court to half of man's.

An outspoken critic of Pakistan's powerful military establishment, she was placed under house arrest in 1983 and later jailed for campaigning for the restoration of democracy.

"Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba".

Former Supreme Court Bar Association president Ali Ahmad Kurd termed Asma was the "champion" human rights activist.

A secular-minded Muslim, Ms. Jehangir defended the rights of Christians and other minorities throughout her career, denouncing the abuse of blasphemy laws against them.

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Asma Jilani was born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, the daughter of a Pakistani legislator from an upper-class family.

She worked closely with her sister Hina Jilani on many of her endeavours. "Her spirit will live as long as that voice in our head keeps telling us what is not right, what must not be tolerated, why not to give in or give up".

To be a successful activist lawyer, she once noted, one must "have an eye for what's hot, the right case, the right bench".

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced, according to a statement by her daughter Munizae Jahangir, as the family waited for relatives to return to their hometown of Lahore. "It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!" she said. Her daughter Muneezay Jehangir is a TV anchor.

She remained Supreme Court Bar President from 2010 to 2012.

She received several awards, both national and worldwide, for her incalculable efforts for human rights everywhere.

She completed her schooling Convent of Jesus and Mary Lahore and finished her bachelor degree from Kinnaird College Lahore. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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