Top rights advocate Asma Jahangir dies

12 February, 2018, 01:24 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Asma Jahangir

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Saqib Nisar Sunday arrived at residence of former president of Supreme Court (SC) bar council and human rights lawyers Asma Jahangir to extend his condolences to the grieving family over her demise.

"(She) had the courage to face the wrath of the dictators and the fury of the fundamentalist Mulla has passed away.

Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai called Ms Jahangir a "saviour of democracy and human rights".

Jahangir was also the co-chair of South Asians for Human Rights.

Asma Jahangir was shifted to hospital after she felt pain in heart but could not survive the cardiac arrest.

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She is widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers' Movement and served as the trustee at the International Crisis Group.

She remained in jail during the dictatorial rule of General Zia-ul Haq in 1983 for raising her voice for the democrats.

"It is a tribute to a large number of Pakistanis who have worked relentlessly for better human rights in the country", she said.

"Shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Asma Jehangir's sudden death". As a daughter, mother and legal expert, she had left irremovable imprints on the judicial and political history of Pakistan, he remarked. Besides serving as Bar Association President, Jahangir also served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Execution and as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

After obtaining LLB degree from the Punjab University in 1978, she started her career as an advocate at high and Supreme courts.

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She was born on January 1952.

Her fight to defend people accused of blasphemy, victims of honour killing and those who went missing from restive Balochistan province and other parts of the country had won her admirers and enemies in great numbers.

"When they were putting me in the police van, they assured that my photograph was taken while my back was bare", Ms. Jehangir said. "It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!" she said.

In the photo above, she is seen addressing a protest rally in 2009 against the public flogging of a veiled woman. He said that the death of Asma Jahangir is an irreplaceable loss for democratic forces and those who raise their voices for human rights.

She has also been an outspoken critic of the Pakistan's powerful military establishment, including during her tenure as the first-ever female leader of Pakistan's top bar association.

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File image of Asma Jahangir.

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