Asma Jahangir leaves behind a powerful human rights legacy

Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of Jahangir who died of cardiac arrest on Sunday

We join Pakistan and others around the world in mourning the untimely death of Pakistani human rights and democracy advocate, Asma Jahangir.

"Asma Jehangir defended the rights of the voiceless, the poor, the downtrodden and dispossessed and spoke out for the victims of violence and against discrimination on the basis of gender and religion", said the unanimously passed resolution.

CM's Adviser on Social Welfare Shamim Mumtaz said that with Benazir Bhutto as prime minister, women had always been the top priority and different programmes had been introduced under her leadership.

Pakistan is ranked 139th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Naveed Walter president Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) participated in the funeral of courageous human Human Rights defender Asma Jahangir in Lahore.

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She was jailed in 1983 for taking part in a movement advocating for fundamental human rights during the military regime and arrested in 2007 by the government of then military ruler Pervez Musharraf. With her sister and fellow activists, Asma established a law firm, the first ever by women. The vacuum created due to her death would take a long time to fill.

Most significantly, especially for the people of Iran, Jahangir included the complaints of families of those killed during the 1988 massacre in the report.

Asma's own involvement in politics had its roots in her youth, when her father became a vociferous critic of the military dictatorship in the 1960s, leading to periods of imprisonment and house arrest, against which Asma and Hina protested. Not only because at 66 years she had many miles to go and many causes to serve. This intolerance was not just that of religious elements but also the so-called secular forces. Her other daughter, Sulema, lives in London. "The double standards are more visible-think of the Patriot Act, the laws on migration..." She was in Congo and East Timor for the United Nations when atrocities there were directed mainly on women. Jahangir had visited Ahmedabad as the leader of the United Nations special team on freedom of religion in 2008. The legal fraternity has expressed grief over sudden demise. But it is also a great achievement for any human being to be remembered with such unabashed adoration and reverence.

Born on January 27, 1952 in Lahore, Jahangir studied at the Convent of Jesus and Mary before receiving her B.A from Kinnaird and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978.

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