Pakistanis Bid Farewell To 'Fearless' Rights Activist Jahangir

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

She was a courageous, fearless, daring, untiring and bold person. She remained there until 1988 before moving back to Pakistan. The result is a cauldron of an unidentified stew, the ingredients of which defy the commandments of the preparation, in this case the principles of democracy. Asma stood shoulder to shoulder with us in our opposition to the draconian cyber crime bill, and having her as an ally lifted our spirits and bolstered our cause.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Tuesday paid tribute to human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir on her death for her services to democracy.

The Senators said that she always supported democracy and took a tough stance against dictatorship.

Jahangir was arrested in 2007 by the government of then-military ruler Pervez Musharraf and held under house arrest.

Jahangir co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and also served as United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

Ms Jahangir was the current UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, having assumed the position on 1 November 2016.

The state department praised Jahangir's role as a UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief, where "she improved the world's understanding of the plight of religious minorities worldwide through her in-depth research and sustained engagements and fought for the protection of the persecuted".

Another English language daily, The News wrote that she 'spoke out bravely and with enormous courage for all the oppressed people of the country, essentially acting as the conscience of Pakistan. Her father, Malik Ghulam Jilani, was a civil servant who himself was an outspoken critic of military rule in Pakistan, which saw him often jailed for speaking out against the status quo.

Asma Jahangir was one of the leaders of the Women's Action Forum (WAF), which confronted Gen. Zia-ul-Haq's Hudood Ordinance, which discriminated against women. After graduation from Kinnaird College for women, she did her LL.B from Punjab University, Lahore. She was 66 years old. Both the Asian and global ecumenical movement worked with Asma Jahangir on the global advocacy against the misuse of the blasphemy law in Pakistan. The verdict was overruled by an appeals court thanks to the efforts of Asma and fellow activists. "Now people do talk about women's rights - political parties talk about it, even religious parties talk about it".

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday asked the federal government to accord a state funeral to Asma Jahangir to honour her decades-long selfless services to the nation. Local TV stations broadcast footage showing public figures and Jahangir's friends sobbing and consoling each other outside her residence as her body was brought home from hospital. Her other daughter, Sulema, lives in London. "The double standards are more visible-think of the Patriot Act, the laws on migration..." At one point, she was shouted down by an angry crowd. But it is also a great achievement for any human being to be remembered with such unabashed adoration and reverence.

Four years later, in 1999, a gunman burst into Asma Jahangir and her sister's offices in Lahore and shot dead Samia Imran, a victim of domestic abuse, who had come there to seek help in divorcing her husband.

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