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Pakistanis Bid Farewell To 'Fearless' Rights Activist Jehangir

Pakistanis Bid Farewell To 'Fearless' Rights Activist Jehangir

Pakistanis Bid Farewell To 'Fearless' Rights Activist Jehangir

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani, PML-N Senator Pervaiz Rashir and other noted lawyers and dignitaries have called for a state funeral in remembrance of her services.

Through the resolution, the National Assembly members recognised Ms Jahangir's services "for rule of law, democracy and constitutionalism, besides her courageous struggle against oppression and rights abuses".

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

From 1998-2000 Jahangir served as the special rapporteur of the UN Commission on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions and was the special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief of the UN Commission on Human Rights since 2004. "Asma will not be forgotten". "Her demise is a great loss to human rights defenders in the country".

A fierce defender of democracy, Jahangir was a critic of Pakistan's powerful military establishment and Islamic extremists. Their clients included Christians facing death sentences on blasphemy charges, bonded labourers who had fled the oppressive grip of feudal landowners, and women who faced violence at home.

Even the ones who do not comprehend Pakistan much would understand how risky and deadly it could be to resist military dictatorship and religious extremism in that country. Naveed Walter said that sudden death of Asma Jahangir is a big loss for the marginalized communities specially for women, children and minorities.

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Support from Amnesty International's members gave her strength during that hard time. Several years ago, she briefly sent her family out of the country following threats from militant groups. Work remained suspended at the high court and its subordinate courts, as the legal fraternity remembered Asma's services.

"I and many others didn't agree with some of her views". The recipient of many awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, she will continue as an emblem of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Pakistan, RSF believes.

One of the most significant acts of bravery was Asma's determined battle against the anti-women Hudood laws that Zia-ul-Haq had introduced.

Activist Marvi Sarmad tweeted: "Today it's not only Pakistan who will cry". As a team consisting of lawyers and young feminists, we stand on Asma's shoulders and tread the path blazed by her.

Later, a large number of political and civil society activists gathered outside the Karachi Press Club to light candles in Asma's memory and paid tributes to her struggle for the downtrodden segments of society.

The news of Jahangir's death came as a shock for everyone as she did not seem to be suffering from any health problems. In a lecture at the London School of Economics (LSE) she says: "Religion and fear has been politicised so that they have played into electoral politics, into policies, into institutional discrimination..."

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