Pakistan’s iron lady Asma Jehangir passes away
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Pakistan’s top lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jehangir passed away on Sunday due to a cardiac arrest in Lahore, her family said in a statement. She was 66.
Known for her bold stance, Asma was the country’s symbol of resistance and a human rights activist who spoke against military dictators and abusers of law for the past five decades. She headed the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and remained the Supreme Court Bar Association chairperson. She was also appointed as UN Rapporteur in the region during the 1990s. She remained in jail during the dictatorial rule of General Zia-ul Haq in 1983 for raising her voice for the democrats.
General Musharraf openly expressed his hate for Asma Jehangir for raising her voice against missing persons often picked up by the intelligence agencies and never produced before the courts.
She took up cases of dozens of missing persons and fought in the courts for their recovery free of cost.
She won numerous national and international awards for her struggle for the oppressed.
Condolences poured in from within and outside the country. Leaders of all political parties paid rich tributes to her.
She was a vocal advocate for peace between Pakistan and India.
Asma was often criticised by right wingers for her stance towards freedom of speech and against the use of religion to curb progressive voices. Asma also criticised the judiciary for not giving justice to the oppressed and not taking notice of extra judicial killings and abductions.