Pak activist Asma Jahangir dies of cardiac arrest

Violet Powell
February 12, 2018

Asma became the first woman to serve as president of the Pakistan's Supreme Court Bar Association. The funeral would take place after Salima's return to Pakistan, the family announced.

"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".

Jahangir, who was 66 years old, died in hospital in Lahore after suffering a cardiac arrest, Dawn News reported.

Another prominent Pakistani lawyer, Salman Akram Raja, tweeted that Ms Jahangir was "the bravest human being I ever knew" and that the world was "less" without her.

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.

Ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif spoke about Asma's work for women and stance against dictators, saying it would be hard to fill the void left by her death. It is an irreparable loss. In 2005, she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Her demise is a big loss for the marginalised communities in Pakistan, a loss for the secular people of Pakistan, and a loss for the voice of reason".

Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai called her a "saviour of democracy and human rights".

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"There was a time that human rights was not even an issue in this country".

"My hero, the woman I always looked up to, the woman who inspired me- heart broken- can't imagine how we will ever recover from this #AsmaJhangir #pakistan" said Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid. "Asma! Rest in Power!"

Asma was born in Pakistan's Lahore city. Her daughter Muneezay Jahangir is a journalist and TV anchorperson.

The representative of Baloch Republican Party to the UNHRC, Abdul Nawaz Bugti said that Asma Jahangir was a courageous voice of the oppressed people, including the Baloch who stood for their rights and spoke truth to the power. She has also been Supreme Court Bar Association president.

She completed her schooling Convent of Jesus and Mary Lahore and finished her bachelor degree from Kinnaird College Lahore.

In 1986, she moved to Geneva, and became the vice-chair of the Defence for Children International and served in the position till 1988 when she moved back to Pakistan. She remained HRCP Chairman from 1987 to 2011. "She was on official visit to India and Punjab in the capacity the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief of the United Nations Human Rights Council", said Kanwarpal Singh, while expressing grief over her death.

She was a huge part of lawyers movement in 2007-08. She was also awarded a UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officer de la Légion d'honneur by France.

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.

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