LAHORE: Sabiha Jilani, the mother of human rights activist Asma Jahangir, passed away on Sunday in Lahore after suffering from a heart attack.
Eighty-five-year old Sabiha was the daughter of Maulana Salahuddin Ahmed, a prolific Urdu writer and editor of the Urdu literary magazine Adabi Dunya. She was the widow of Malik Ghulam Jilani, a well-known politician and civil servant.
Sabiha was the first female Muslim student to be admitted to the Forman Christian College in Lahore, where she excelled in athletics. During her lifetime, she closely watched political events unravel and was a staunch supporter of the rights of political prisoners during the 1960s and 70s.
And even though she endured hardship when her husband was incarcerated, in the face of adversity, she instilled a devotion to principled politics in her children, including Asma, who has inherited such strong values from her mother.
Sabiha was also known to be a gracious host, entertaining political figures, journalists, and social activists at her residence.
She leaves behind four children, including Asma Jahangir, Hina Jilani, Samina Tahir and Usman Jilani Malik. She also leaves behind eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her funeral prayers will be held in Lahore at 4pm on October 2 at the following address: 131-E-1, Gulberg 3, Main Boulevard.
President Asif Ali Zardari has expressed his profound grief and sorrow on the demise of Begum Malik Ghulam Jilani. The President, in his condolence message said that death of one’s mother was a great personal loss.”My thoughts and prayers are with you and the bereaved family,” he said.
(with additional input from APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2012.