Current Affairs

Pakistan’s Iron Lady Asma Jahangir Passes Away

Pakistan’s top lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jehangir passed away due to a cardiac arrest in Lahore at the age of 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 Reporter 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.
  • She has always raised 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.
  • Asma was often criticized by right wingers for her stance towards freedom of speech and against the use of religion to curb progressive voices.
  • Asma also criticized the judiciary for not giving justice to the oppressed and not taking notice of extra judicial killings and abductions.

About Asma Jahangir

She was born in Lahore in January 1952. She received a bachelor's degree from Kinnaird College and an LLB from Punjab University. She was called to the Lahore High Court in 1980 and to the Supreme Court in 1982. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She became a pro-democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which agitated against military dictator Ziaul Haq's regime. She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers' Movement, for which she was put under house arrest. She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the Women's Action Forum. She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz. She was also awarded a Unesco/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d'honneur by France. She also received the 2014 Right Livelihood Award and the 2010 Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee.
Pakistan’s Iron Lady Asma Jahangir Passes Away Pakistan’s Iron Lady Asma Jahangir Passes Away Reviewed by Aman Bhatia on February 15, 2018 Rating: 5

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