World News

Eminent Pakistani lawyer, activist Asma Jahangir dead

Eminent Pakistani lawyer, activist Asma Jahangir dead

She was hailed as a courageous crusader, awarded dozens of worldwide honors, nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and described as "the gutsiest woman" in Pakistan.

She suffered a cardiac arrest and was shifted to a hospital in Lahore city where she was pronounced dead, local broadcaster Geo News reported. Since its independence from the British in 1947, the military has ruled Pakistan for 30 years. Her daughter Muneezay Jehangir is a TV anchor.

Born on January 27, 1952, Jehangir had a prominent career both as a lawyer and rights activist.

Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has expressed grief over death of eminent lawyer, rights activists and a highly pro-democracy dedicated fighter Ms. Asma Jahangir.

Pakistani Nobel Peace Prize victor Malala Yousafzai said on Twitter she was "heartbroken" at the death of the "savior of democracy and human rights", especially as the pair had just met in Britain a week ago.

She said Pakistan should first take up the issue of capital punishment through unfair trials here and of those Pakistanis who were being consistently executed in Saudi Arabia and then show disproportionately high passion for the politicians of Bangladesh.

She was a staunch critic of Zia-ul-Haq's policies especially regarding implementing religious laws. She herself fought the case of her father's freedom after other lawyers refused to take the case and won. She remained house arrest in 2007 for 9- days including other lawyers' movement leadership. In the process, she recounted, security agents began to strip off her clothes. "We are waiting for our relatives to return to Lahore", her daughter Munizae Jahangir said in a tweet. "This was just to humiliate, this was simply just to humiliate me".

Jahangir has represented several clients who were denied their fundamental rights and defended cases of minorities, women and children in prisons.

Azmi remembered her friend, whom she deeply respected for her integrity and courage.

"She was never daunted by the attacks that came her way".

After graduating from the University of the Punjab in 1978, she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and was its chairperson between 2005 and 2010. At the time of her death she had been working as the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran. He said that the death of Asma Jahangir is an irreplaceable loss for democratic forces and those who raise their voices for human rights.