Sunday, 27 May, 2018

Death of Asma Jahangir is shocking

Asma Jahangir dies at 66: Pakistan human rights activist fought for persecuted minorities, opposed military regime Death of Asma Jahangir is shocking
Lillian Steele | 12 February, 2018, 01:23

She was the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum.

She was reacting to the response by Pakistani minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan expressing anguish and concern over the execution of BNP leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed for committing crimes during the Liberation War.

She was on Time magazine's list of 100 most influential women.

"When they were putting me in the police van, they assured that my photograph was taken while my back was bare", Ms. Jehangir said.

The nation has been left shocked by her death. She won scores of global awards.

As this newspaper asked her whether she would face any difficulty in her country after receiving an award linked with the Liberation War, she answered with deep conviction.

"My hero, the woman I always looked up to, the woman who inspired me- heart broken- can t imagine how we will ever recover from this #AsmaJhangir #pakistan" said Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid.

Akhtar called Asma "undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights".

The cause of her death has not been confirmed yet, but according to media reports, it was due to cardiac arrest.

In 2013, a USA intelligence report claimed that some military officials had planned to kill her during her 2012 India visit.

Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former Pakistan President, Nawaz Sharif, wrote on Twitter, "Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir". In his condolence message, he prayed that may Allah Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage to members of the bereaved family to bear irreparable loss with fortitude.

Ziauddin Yousafzai - the father of Malala, Pakistani activist and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate - said Jahangir deserves a state funeral while Indian poet Javed Akhtar called it the loss of the whole subcontinent.

In 2012, Jahangir said that an assassination plot against her had been hatched "at the highest level of the security establishment".

She was born on January 1952. She has also been Supreme Court Bar Association president.

In recognition of her services in the field of human rights, Jahangir was awarded the American Bar Association International Human Rights Award in 1992, the Martin Ennals Award and the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1995.

She was imprisoned in 1983 for agitating against military dictator General Ziaul Haq's regime.

Jahangir was arrested in 2007 by the government of then-military ruler Pervez Musharraf and held under house arrest.

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