Pakistan’s Human Rights Icon Asma Jahangir Passes Away in Lahore
Voice of reason and human rights icon in Pakistan, Asma Jahangir passed away following a cardiac arrest. Jahangir was the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was an activist and an author. The news was confirmed by her daughter Munizae Jahangir.
She was known for being the voice of the underprivileged and for taking up court cases of victimized. She spoke and tweeted against human rights violations. People who knew her called her brave and courageous. Her stand against the military rule of General Zia-ul-Haq was what made her renowned world over.
She was known for being the voice of the underprivileged and for taking up court cases of victimized. She spoke and tweeted against human rights violations.
Journalist Shekhar Gupta tweeted on hearing the news, “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.”
The Dawn called her the Street Fighter. It reported that Asma Jahangir has been the longest-serving United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and is one of three Pakistanis appointed to the position (the other two being her sister Hina Jilani and Lahore-based feminist activist and sociologist Farida Shaheed).
Part of its article on the various roles Asma played, The Dawn noted what made her a leader in her own right. “Asma Jahangir is different from most of her colleagues in bar politics — in more ways than one. She smokes beedis in the bar room, talks loudly and bluntly and makes direct eye contact with those she is conversing with. She is undiplomatic yet she has a disarming common touch. She has the ability to be frank and honest without sounding abrupt and pretentious. She is a contrarian but she is also a conciliator — with the ability to find points of convergence.”
She has the ability to be frank and honest without sounding abrupt and pretentious – The Dawn
According to Wikipedia, she was born and raised in Lahore. She studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary and followed that with a bachelors from Kinnaird and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978. In 1980, Jahangir was called to the Lahore High Court and to the Supreme Court in 1982. In the 1980s, Jahangir became an democracy activist and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military regime of Zia-ul-Haq. In 1986, she moved to Geneva, and became the vice-chair of the Defence for Children International and remained until 1988 when she moved back to Pakistan