Prominent human rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore

Asma Jahangir Asma Jahangir passes away Asma Jahangir dead Asma Jahangir news pakistan

Asma, well-known in Bangladesh, had a link with the birth of country as her father was arrested in 1971 for denouncing Pakistan army atrocities and genocide.

She conducted consultancy on judicial reforms in Pakistan and Bangladesh for the Asian Development Bank and World Bank.

Ms. Jehangir was a pioneer for women's rights in Pakistan, founding the country's first all-female law firm with her sister Hina Jilani in 1987. "We are waiting for our relatives to return to Lahore", her daughter Munizae Jahangir said in a tweet. Zaid Hamid, a controversial political commentator known to have a liking for conspiracy theories, compared her to a Pakistani politician who is accused of treachery and inciting violence.

"Shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Asma Jehangir's sudden death". Now I take pride in the fact that being a traitor means to stand up for a good cause and for the right cause.

As this newspaper asked her whether she would face any difficulty in her country after receiving an award linked with the Liberation War, she answered with deep conviction.

"An extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people".

Jahangir's pro-democracy struggle as a lawyer and activist had made her a staunch critic of Pakistan's military, intelligence agencies and armed groups. "It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!" she said.

"I am devastated at the loss of my mother Asma Jahangir".

President Mamnoon Husain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed grief over her demise. She was hailed as a courageous crusader, awarded dozens of global honors, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and described as "the gutsiest woman" in Pakistan.

Born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, Jahangir completed her bachelors of arts and law from Lahore and then went on to pursue higher legal studies from Switzerland, Canada and US. She was also the first woman president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

After her graduation from the prestigious Kinnaird College and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978, she hit the headlines when she enthusiastically jumped into the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) against the Zia ul-Haq dictatorship and was jailed. A state of emergency was declared, and she was among key protest leaders placed under house arrest. At the time of her death she had been working as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran. In 2005, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Asma was often criticised by right wingers for her stance towards freedom of speech and against the use of religion to curb progressive voices.

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