Eminent Pakistani lawyer, rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away

Death of Asma Jahangir is shocking

In a statement on Sunday, PM Abbasi lauded Asma's contributions towards upholding rule of law, democracy and safeguarding human rights. She was admitted to a private hospital last night over cardiac problem, where she breathed her last.

She was appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran in September 2016 and delivered regular reports on the prevailing situation in the country to U.N. bodies.

Jahangir headed the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan for many years and became the first woman to serve as the president of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

Jahangir's pro-democracy struggle as a lawyer and activist had made her a staunch critic of Pakistan's military, intelligence agencies and armed groups.

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Asma Jahangir was a very prominent Pakistani social activist espousing the cause of peace between India and Pakistan.

Akhtar called Asma "undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights". "I have more passion for them", she has been quoted as saying.

Asma Jilani was born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, the daughter of a Pakistani legislator from an upper-class family. I can not believe she is no more among us. She was 66-year-old.

She remained in jail during the dictatorial rule of General Zia-ul Haq in 1983 for raising her voice for the democrats. A state of emergency was declared, and she was among key protest leaders placed under house arrest. Her daughter Muneezay is a TV anchor.

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

She got her LLB degree from University of Punjab in 1978.

Her daughter Munizae Jahangir, a journalist, then in boarding school due to abduction threats, remembers "how her schoolfellows asked her the next day if her mother had stolen something". She was also the first female president of Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association and had won several awards including the Unesco/Bilbao prize for the promotion of a culture of human rights and the French Legion of Honour.

On its website, the worldwide rights body praised her for her "contribution to the cause of human rights" for which she received multiple awards both nationally and internationally. Her sister Hina Jilani has rightly said it is a loss for everyone as she took up cases of the voiceless. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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