Human rights activist Asma Jahangir's funeral prayers offered at Gaddafi stadium

15 February, 2018, 05:18 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • Asma Jahangir's funeral prayers offered at Gaddafi Stadium

A human rights lawyer and social activist in a country that has increasingly become a victim of toxic religious extremism, political opportunism and manipulation, Asma has exhibited a rare kind of courage that defied all odds. The celebration of National Womens Day on Tuesday was dedicated to the matchless struggle waged by Jahangir, who, according to women rights activists, was a role model to be followed by coming generations.

'Principled and courageous, Asma's willingness and determination to confront evil, defend the vulnerable, and insist on Pakistan living up to the ideals of its democratic, constitutional and secular foundations made her truly iconic, thepaper wrote. In 1987, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as commission's chairperson. She was twice elected as President of Supreme Court Bar Association from October, 2008 to October 2010.

Dr Chunakara said that while Jahangir served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions and the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, he had several opportunities to work with her on behalf of the CCA and WCC in the 1990s and 2000s.

Asma's sudden death is a loss not just for Pakistan, or for South Asia, but for the human rights movement globally. "She did this despite great risk to her own personal safety". She championed the cause of women, children, bonded labourers, religious minorities, journalists, the disappeared, and so many others.

Women rights activists, including Aurat Foundation's Mahnaz Rehman, Bushra Araen, Shireen Ijaz, Rahila Raheem, Mussrat Jabeen, Malka Khan, Mangal Sharma, Qamrun Nisa Dhamrah, Farhat Parveen and transgender activist Shahzadi Rai also lauded Jahangir's services and paid rich tribute to her.

Others talked about her impact on human rights throughout the region, expressing their condolences on her passing.

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"Pakistan mourns for losing one of its bravest daughters who fought for human rights".

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

Her attempt in 2005 to hold a mixed gender marathon in Lahore to highlight violence against women resulted in attacks by conservative Islamist groups in which the police were complicit, later confessing that they had been ordered to beat the participants and tear off their clothes.

In a condolence message to Asma's family, Pakistan Institute of Labour Education & Research Executive Director Karamat Ali and its staff expressed their profound sorrow and grief.

"We have lost a human rights giant", said Mr Guterres in a statement on Sunday.

The nation has been left shocked by her death. She was sentenced to flogging and three years' imprisonment. She was the first woman lawyer in Pakistan to have been granted the status of senior advocate by the Supreme Court.

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