Asma Jahangir, a moderate face of Pakistan, passes away
Feb 12 2018
Expressing his grief over the demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi Sunday said the incident had silenced a courageous voice for the voiceless, helpless and the oppressed people.
Jahangir breathed her last in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Asma Jahangir was born on January 27, 1952. She was the first woman to serve as head of the SCBA. During her career, Jahangir and her family had been attacked, taken hostage and had their home broken into, but she never gave up her battle for justice.
Jahangir became a democracy activist and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military regime of General Ziaul Haq.
Ms Jahangir was arrested in 2007 by the government of then-military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Five years ago, leaked documents suggested that some intelligence officers had planned to kill her. Later, Jahangir had spoken at a press conference about a conspiracy to murder her and blamed elements of the security establishment.
The rights commission which she helped create made its name defending religious minorities and tackling highly charged blasphemy accusations along with cases of "honour" killings - in which victims, normally women, are murdered by a relative for bringing shame on the family. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is now studying at Oxford.
Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai called her a "saviour of democracy and human rights".
He said the death of Asma Jahangir was sad news for the whole nation that had made the country bereft of a bold and principled personality. Condolences poured in after her demise with people paying tribute to her services for democracy and efforts in the judiciary movement. "Doctors tried to save her life but couldn't", said senior lawyer Adeel Raja.
However, there were some who termed her a hypocrite, a traitor - posting a picture of her receiving an award from Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina - and even an "Indian agent".
Asma, well-known in Bangladesh, had a link with the birth of country as her father was arrested in 1971 for denouncing Pakistan army atrocities and genocide. The Hadood Ordinance" (1988) and "Children of a Lesser God: "Child Prisoners of Pakistan" (1992).