Condolences pour in for Asma Jehangir on Twitter

Posted February 12, 2018

For more than three decades, Asma Jehangir, a sharp-tongued activist and erudite attorney, was Pakistan's leading human rights lawyer and champion.

Advertisement Advertisement Jahangir served as the President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan from 2010 to 2012, and co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987.

She was a standout voice for Pakistan's marginalised people. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, writes the Dawn.

More recently she spoke out against BBC Persian journalists being put on trial in Iran, as part of her role as United Nations special rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

Jahangir, a Ramon Magsaysay award recipient, fought against the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the pro-democracy movement.

As news of Ms. Jehangir's death spread Sunday, Pakistan's top civilian officials and many others praised her courage and persistence in the cause of human rights.

According to reports, she had been suffering from cancer and remained under treatment for years.

"We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore", her daughter Munizae Jahangir said.

Jahangir has represented several clients who were denied their fundamental rights and defended cases of minorities, women and children in prisons.

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

The premier termed her demise as a great loss for legal fraternity.

An outspoken critic of the country's powerful military establishment, Asma, 66, passed away in Lahore due to cardiac arrest.

Daily Times Editor Raza Ahmad Rumi called her a "hero".

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

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of Jahangir. She served on several missions for the United Nations and won numerous worldwide awards.

During her long career in law and rights activism, she won freedom for bonded laborers from their "owners", and the right for women to marry of their own volition.

In her lifetime, she was awarded with prestigious awards in the country including the Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-i-Imtiaz in recognition of her services. She was courageous, fearless, invincible.