Pak activist Asma Jahangir dies of cardiac arrest


Amritsar: Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh condoles the demise of leading Pakistan's Human rights icon Asma Jahangir at Lahore today.

Born on January 27, 1952 to a progressive family in Lahore, Jahangir's path seemed set out with her father Malik Ghulam Jilani, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, opposing corruption at the fag end of Ayub Khan's rule and the brutal crackdown in then East Pakistan under Yahya Khan following the 1970 election.

Jehangir co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and was president of the Supreme Court's Bar Association.

Three days ago, she appeared before Supreme Court in determining disqualification of parliamentarians case where she asserted that apex court should not involve itself in political questions.

Many people took to Twitter and paid tribute to the prominent activist. Asma Jahangir lived, practiced till her last breath.

She was a wise and courageous warrior of human rights who included in her report the complaints of families regarding the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran.

Jehangir is survived by her businessman husband, Tahir Jehangir, a son and two daughters. She was one of the few Pakistani who spoke against the state atrocities against the Baloch people and fought for their rights. She was the first woman to serve as head of the SCBA.

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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. She was critical of the Supreme Court for "judicial activism" and criticised it for disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from the office of prime minister in July past year.

She was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan.

Asma, who remained undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan, writes Dawn.

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

She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Huge loss for us, for #Pakistan. She served on several missions for the United Nations and won numerous global awards.

Jahangir was also a vocal opponent of judicial overreach and would often confront the superior judiciary when it would extend its jurisdiction in her opinion.