Just Earth News | @justearthnews | 11 Feb 2018
Lahore: Pakistan's iconic lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir, hailed as a leading voice in championing the cause of human rights and a changemaker in her illustrious lifetime, died in Lahore city on Sunday, aged 66, her family said. Respected as a legendary rights activist in Pakistan, she had co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum. She was also a strong critic of the powerful military establishment in Pakistan.
Pakistan's Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf mourned her loss saying: "With the passing away of Asma Jahangir we have lost a voice and an opinion. She was an iron lady and will be missed."
According to senior journalist Raza Ahmad Rumi in Pakistan, Jahangir practised in her life what all talk about- speaking the truth.
‘Speaking truth to power’ a phrase, we often use. #AsmaJahangir lived,practiced till her last breath. Questioned mullahs, military, judges, politicians, all the powerful;defended downtrodden. Faced threats &— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) February 11, 2018
attacks. Was never afraid.What a hero. We have to contend with a void. pic.twitter.com/NFamtObL0s
Asma Jahangir is survived by a son and two daughters. Jahangir was a recipient of the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-i-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.
The family told DawnNews that she suffered from cardiac arrest and was shifted to a hospital, where she passed.
In a tweet last year in June, she had said: "No amount of pressure will deter me from representing women in distress It has been my life mission Till the last breath will stand by them."
No amount of pressure will deter me from representing women in distress It has been my life mission Till the last breath will stand by them— Asma Jahangir (@Asma_Jahangir) June 20, 2017
She was born on January 1952 in Lahore city.
She is widely known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers' Movement and served as the trustee at the International Crisis Group.
In 1987 she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as commission's chairperson.
Jahangir served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion from August 2004 to July 2010, including serving on the U.N. panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations and on a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements.
The nation has been left shocked by her death.
Asma Jahangir was the bravest person I knew. She fearlessly stood up to dictators, thugs, misogynists. She was never daunted by the attacks that came her way. She never wavered from her principles. Her loss is incalculable.— Omar Waraich (@OmarWaraich) February 11, 2018
Daughter of former Pakistan CM Nawaz Sharif-Maryam Nawaz Sharif- said: " Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir. It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!"
PTI leader Asad Umar said: "Sorry to hear about asma jahangir passing away. I disagreed with many of her political positions but respected the fact that she clearly stood up for what she believed in."
Zaheer-ud-Din Babar Awan, ex-Minister for Law (Pakistan), tweeted: "What a loss! A great colleague Asma Jahangir passes away. Few days ago, we appeared together in the Supreme Court. This distinguished voice shall be remembered for long ."
Pakistani activist Muniba Mazari said: "Rest in Power! #AsmaJahangir."
Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai remarked: "Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights. I met her a week ago in Oxford. I cannot believe she is no more among us. The best tribute to her is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy."
Edward Snowden. the former contractor for the CIA turned whistle blower, tweeted saying Jahangir was extraordinary and brave.
Across the border in India her death was mourned by many human rights activists and people from various walks of life as well.
Indian film writer, lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar called her the bravest and most resilient of fighters for human rights.
Asma Jahangir , undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights who had the courage to face the wrath of the dictators and the fury of the fundamentalist Mulla has passed away . It is the loss of the whole Sub continent .— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 11, 2018
Bollywood filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt called her an extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people.
An extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people. https://t.co/CSly2PWEVR— Mahesh Bhatt (@MaheshNBhatt) February 11, 2018
- UN launches global plan to strengthen protection of internally displaced persons
- Conditions ‘not yet conducive’ for Rohingya refugee to return home to Myanmar – UN agency
- Despite drop in numbers, desperate migrants to Europe face greater perils, UN refugee agency reports
- WHO says 500 patients showed symptoms of chemical attack in Syria
- On Rwandan genocide anniversary, UN leaders ask: Can world muster the will to prevent new atrocities?