Courageous voice for voiceless silences today: PM Abbasi on Asma Jahangir's demise

Courageous voice for voiceless silences today: PM Abbasi on Asma Jahangir's demise

Courageous voice for voiceless silences today: PM Abbasi on Asma Jahangir's demise

Noted Pakistani lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday after a cardiac arrest, media reports said.

Few Pakistani rights activists have achieved the credibility of Jahangir.

She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers' Movement, for which she was put under house arrest. Her daughter Muneezay Jehangir is a TV anchor.

"Unfortunately we have lost her", Hina Jilani, also a prominent rights activist and lawyer, told AFP.

Born on January 27, 1952, into an affluent family in Lahore, Asma Jilani Jahangir studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, receiving her bachelor's degree from Kinnaird College in Lahore.

She was among the senior advocates in Pakistan and she co-founded Human Rights of Commission of Pakistan.

Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed grief over death of eminent lawyer, rights activists and a highly pro-democracy dedicated fighter Ms. Asma Jahangir. In a lecture at Oxford University in 2017, she charged that "the military controls the country through the deep state", while "the politicians are playing at democracy, hanging onto the cliff with their claws".

Outside of Pakistan, Jahangir served as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

In 1999, she was approached for legal advice by a woman named Saima Sarwar who had fled an abusive husband and sought a divorce that was opposed by her family. I can not believe she is no more among us.

In recent years, she was outspoken over the misuse of blasphemy laws that carry the death sentence.

A mother of one son and two daughters, Jahangir was also the co-chair of South Asians for Human Rights.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai said on Twitter she was "heartbroken" at the death of the "savior of democracy and human rights", especially as the pair had just met in Britain a week ago. "It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!" she said.

Her first foray into politics was in 1969, when she participated in a women's march to the residence of the governor of Punjab and clashed with the police. Condolences poured in after her demise with people paying tribute to her services for democracy and efforts in the judiciary movement. She gained worldwide acclaim for being the voice of conscience in a country where liberal, secular voices have been continuously under threat.

Nandita said Asma's death was a massive loss to the neighbouring country.

She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz.

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