Thousands bid adieu to Asma Jahangir

Published: February 13, 2018


LAHORE: Family, friends, colleagues and admirers of Asma Jahangir – a world-renowned rights crusader and a leading lawyer of the Supreme Court of Pakistan – bid her farewell on Tuesday as she was laid to rest at her family’s farmhouse on Bedian Road of Punjab’s provincial capital.

Jahangir’s funeral prayer, led by famous scholar Moulana Maududi’s son Haider Farooq Maududi, was held at the Gaddafi Stadium, where thousands of people – both men and women – swarmed to pay homage to her.

Politicians, who attended her funeral included Aitzaz Ahsan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Mushahid Hussain Syed, Pervaiz Rashid and Hasil Bizenjo. Notable activists, lawyers and journalists – including IA Rahman, Hussain Naqi and Ali Ahmed Kurd – also attended the prayer. Activists raised slogans before the prayer, remembering Jahangir for her work for the poor and the downtrodden.

Aima, a participant at the funeral, said, “Such people are irreplaceable and we will not have another Asma Jahangir to stand for principle with such unwavering conviction. She was born in a particular moment of history and such models of activism can no longer be found”.

Jahangir died on Sunday at a private hospital of Lahore of cardiac arrest at the age of 66. Born on January 27, 1952 to Malik Ghulam Jilani and Sabiha Jilani, she was known for her work as a leading human rights activist.

She was also a staunch supporter of democracy and actively opposed martial law regimes in the country. She faced imprisonment in 1983 for her pro-democracy agitation and put under house arrest during the 2007 Lawyers Movement.

Heart of gold: The Asma Jahangir few knew

As a lawyer, she held the distinction of being the first female senior advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan. She also became the first female president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) from November 1, 2010 to October 31, 2011.

She was known as an active lawyer who worked for the welfare of the lawyer community. She was recognised internationally; was appointed as the United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran and was one of the founding members of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP).

Jahangir was appointed as the HRCP secretary general in 1987 and in 1993 she was elevated as the HRCP chairperson. She later resigned from the position after she decided to contest election for the SCBA presidency in 2010.

Jahangir received 2014 Right Livelihood Award, 2010 Freedom Award as well as the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Ramon Magsaysay Award, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France for her services for human rights causes.

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Reader Comments (10)

    Feb 13, 2018 - 1:55PM

    Hum jo tareek rahon mae mare gae.
    May her soul rest in eternal peace.Recommend

  • Aas Soomro
    Feb 13, 2018 - 3:38PM

    Rest in Peace, Comrade!Recommend

  • Neshat Quaiser
    Feb 13, 2018 - 3:41PM

    Rest in Power Asma Jahangir – You relentlessly upheld the dialectics of sanity in an atmosphere of externally propelled religious and social hatred and violence by the deeply feudal-castist-bureaucratic monopoly capital-military combine.

    Qadiani? As long as she did not declare herself a non-Muslim, her God alone will decide. And look, funeral prayers for her were led by Farooq Haider Maududi, son of Abul Ala Maududi, the man who led the anti-Qadiani movement. Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Feb 13, 2018 - 3:42PM

    I think Mr. Nazeer conveyed his thoughts perfectly and I’m also agree with him Recommend

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Feb 13, 2018 - 4:17PM

    I have heard many good things about her . RIP lady .Recommend

  • Fze
    Feb 13, 2018 - 5:07PM

    Good bye, brave lady. You were misunderstood most of your life. This society does not deserve brave souls, let it be poor without you.Recommend

  • Farhan
    Feb 13, 2018 - 8:39PM

    Pakistanis will never forget you…

    RIP madam you were the one and only. Those who love you never forget you… even your detractors would never able to forget you because of your great work against their weak ideologyRecommend

  • Pakistani
    Feb 13, 2018 - 9:16PM

    Asma, the pain of your loss is not short of losing a mother. I have never met you but what you have done for this country, its thankless, shallow and ignorant people, the way you dedicated your entire life to serving a cause makes my heart bleed, both with pride and pain. How could you be so selfless? How could you be so principled amid herds of shallow human beings, my so called fellow country men! These men who don’t even know that many of the liberties they enjoy today are because of you, Asma. You Asma, our iron lady!

    Rest in power. You have left a nation orphaned!Recommend

  • powayman
    Feb 13, 2018 - 11:03PM

    If you really wanted to honor this women you should get rid of the blasphemy laws she opposed. Also – who thought using Gaddafi Stadium was a good idea – Gaddafi was known human rights abuser something she fought against her whole life. Recommend

  • Such bolta hoon
    Feb 14, 2018 - 5:22AM

    What was this all about.
    Does a Namaz-e-Janaza happens like this.
    Not sure!Recommend

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