Well-known Pakistani human rights lawyer and democracy ideologue, Asma Jehangir is no more. She passed away due to a cardiac arrest in her home at Lahore. She was 66.
According to reports in the Pakistani media, she suffered a cardiac arrest and was shifted to a hospital, where she passed away.
I am devastated @ loss of my mother Asma Jahangir.We shall B announcing date of funeral soon.We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore
— Munizae Jahangir (@MunizaeJahangir) February 11, 2018
A well-known personality, she is best known for her outspoken and unrelenting pursuit for human rights despite extreme pressure and opposition. Asma Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan.
Born in Lahore in January 1952, she received a Bachelors’ degree from Kinnaird College and an LLB from Punjab University. She practiced in the Lahore High Court from 1980 and in the Pakistan Supreme Court from 1982. She Also holds the distinction of being the first woman to serve as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
She became a democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which agitated against Pakistani military dictator Ziaul Haq’s regime.
She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.
She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the Women’s Action Forum.
She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz. She was also awarded a UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France.
She received the 2014 Right Livelihood Award and the 2010 Freedom Award.
Her legion of followers include, women and minorities and members of the Opposition parties in Pakistan.
She was a well-recognized figure across the border in India as well and had visited the country on many occasions, heading delegations of women and minority groups from Pakistan.
She was mourned equally on both sides of the border with condolences pouring in her remembrance. Many spoke of her courage while others mentioned her large hearted attitude that rose to fight fight for the underprivileged.
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) February 11, 2018
Asma Jahangir was the icon of resistance, deeply cared for human rights and stood up for the marginalised and voiceless. She dies at a time when Pakistan needed her the most, her stance on following the rule of law & judicial overreach into politics/executive was exemplary
— Murtaza Ali Shah (@MurtazaGeoNews) February 11, 2018
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
It wasn’t easy to live Asma Jahangir’s life. The Asma Jahangir that lives inside every Pakistani women, brave, fearless, rebellious. Don’t let that Asma within you ever die. The fight continues! pic.twitter.com/tbUcHplQQ0
— Rabia Anum (@RabiaAnumm) February 11, 2018
An icon of human rights,
A great champion of democracy,
The loudest voice of the voiceless,
The most courageous @Asma_Jahangir is no more among us.
Deserves love from every Pakistani
— Ziauddin Yousafzai (@ZiauddinY) February 11, 2018
One of the bravest persons I have had the privilege to meet, Asma Jahangir has passed away.. a human rights activist and lawyer who was at the forefront for securing democratic values in Pakistan.. RIP
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) February 11, 2018
RIP Asma Jahangir. The Subcontinent’s bravest and most “incorrigible” liberal. No one touched by her came without her touch of kindness. Both Pakistan and India are poorer today. pic.twitter.com/IEL3rXbjcS
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) February 11, 2018