Who is Asma Jahangir ?

Monday, 12 Feb, 2018

Renowned senior lawyer and eminent human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore on Sunday, the DawnNews reported. She was admitted to a private hospital last night over cardiac problem, where she breathed her last. A great colleague Asma Jahangir passes away. She was a true defender of human rights, democracy and fought till her last breath against authoritarian power, orthodoxy and discrimination.

Jahangir was one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, a forum that went on to highlight rights violations across the country.

"It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses".

She was jailed in 1983 for participating in a pro-democracy movement against then military ruler Gen. Muhammad Ziaul Haq. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy.

Soon, she was taking on controversial legal cases that thrust her into the public eye but also involved violence, prison and death threats.

"She was courageous and dedicated rights and social activist and above all the voice of the voiceless", said he.

She was a vocal advocate for peace between Pakistan and India.

A secular-minded Muslim, Ms. Jehangir defended the rights of Christians and other minorities throughout her career, denouncing the abuse of blasphemy laws against them. She remained house arrest in 2007 for nine days.

In the photo above, she is seen addressing a protest rally in 2009 against the public flogging of a veiled woman. I can not believe she is no more among us.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Saqib Nisar, former President Asif Ali Zardari, President Mamnoon Hussain paid their tribute to Asma Jahangir and expressed grief.

The representative of Baloch Republican Party to the UNHRC, Abdul Nawaz Bugti said that Asma Jahangir was a fearless voice of the oppressed people, including the Baloch who stood for their rights and spoke truth to the power.

General Musharraf openly expressed his hate for Asma Jehangir for raising her voice against missing persons often picked up by the intelligence agencies and never produced before the courts.

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.

And Adil Najam, the Dean of the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University tweeted she "was not just the voice of our collective conscience".