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Human rights activist Asma Jahangir passes away, country mourns
12 February 2018, 01:24 | Damon Campbell
Asma Jahangir, a moderate face of Pakistan, passes away
Known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights, Asma was the first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.
In 2007, Pervez Musharraf, then a general, also put her under house arrest as the country's lawyers and politicians began a movement to restore democracy.
Asma is survived by two daughters and a son. We lost a courageous, fearless voice.
In a statement, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi praised Jahangir's contributions toward upholding rule of law, democracy, and safeguarding human rights.
"Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba". "But she was a titan".
A fiery critic of the military in a country that has been under one dictatorship or another for nearly half of its existence, Jahangir often found herself in trouble with the institution and its supporters.
Zohra Yousuf, a former chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, said she lost a "great friend and great warrior of human rights". On its website, the global rights body praised her for her "contribution to the cause of human rights" for which she received multiple awards both nationally and internationally.
Born on January 27, 1952, Jehangir had a prominent career both as a lawyer and rights activist.
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"It is also an award for the voiceless people and all others who have been victims of human rights abuses".
Her family was threatened and her driver was beaten up in 1995 for her daring to defend a 14-year-old Salamat Masih who on the accusation of blasphemy.
A champion of human rights, Jehangir was unafraid to speak loudly against those attacking minority religions and women. "We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore", she said in a tweet.
"And I think it sounds very hollow if I keep talking about the rights of Kashmiris but do not talk about the rights of a woman in Lahore who is butchered to death". "Now people do talk about women's rights".
She was on Time magazine's list of 100 most influential women. As a daughter, mother and legal expert, she had left irremovable imprints on the judicial and political history of Pakistan, he remarked.
Asma was also active in the 2007 Lawyers' Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.
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