Pakistani leading rights activist, Asma Jehangir, dies at 66

Doug Mendoza
February 12, 2018

Nobel prize victor Malala Yousafzai remarked: "Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights". The funeral would take place after Salima's return to Pakistan, the family announced. "It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses".

One high-profile moment came in 2007, when Pakistan's dignified legal community launched a street protest movement to demand an end to military rule under army Gen. Pervez Musharraf.

In 2014 Ms Jahangir told AFP news agency she had seen changes in the perception of human rights in Pakistan. Once, while representing a Christian boy sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, she was attacked by a violent mob outside the courthouse.

She was repeatedly threatened by the country's militant religious right whom she criticized loudly and often.

"Asma Jahangir "YOU'RE MY PRIDE", tweeted someone who went by the name Arya Stark Khan, with a profile picture of Arya Stark of the famous HBO series Game of Thrones".

Asma Jilani was born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, the daughter of a Pakistani legislator from an upper-class family.

Throughout her life, Jahangir was called many things - anti-national, anti-Islamic, and accused of cherry-picking her causes.

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According to Geo TV, the former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association was shifted to a private hospital on Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Jahangir also served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights.

Pakistani activist Muniba Mazari said: "Rest in Power!"

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.

Over her demise, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar said the entire country paid tribute to Jahangir's services.

"I remember meeting her along with party colleagues H S Dhami and Dr Manjinder Singh at Circut House Amritsar on 3rd March 2008 to present memorandum to her on Sikh issues". She obtained a LLB degree from Punjab University.

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. Several years ago, she briefly sent her family out of the country following threats from militant groups. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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