Asma Jahangir, a renowned human rights activist, lawyer and co-founder of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan passed away this Sunday in Lahore.
The 66-year-old mother of three, was diagnosed with a heart attack before her death.
Asma was known for her courage – one who bravely stood up against powerful people including politicians, businessmen, and dictators, throughout her career.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Prime Minister of Pakistan, said that her death was a great loss for the legal fraternity. He wasn’t the only one as many well-known personalities and citizens, paid their tributes to her.
Politicians chimed in:
Asma Jehangir’s death is a loss of a strong voice for the marginalised and oppressed. Despite our differences I always respected her for her fight for human rights and for standing up for her convictions.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) February 11, 2018
Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir. It’s everyone’s loss. What a sad day!
— Maryam Nawaz Sharif (@MaryamNSharif) February 11, 2018
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) February 11, 2018
إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ
Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy. May her soul rest in peace!
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) February 11, 2018
What a loss! A great colleague Asma Jahangir passes away. Few days ago, we appeared together in the Supreme Court. This distinguished voice shall be remembered for long
— Babar Awan (@BabarAwanPK) February 11, 2018
Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani’s writings, work and brave fight against the Hudood Ordinances and the barbarity of General Zia ul Haq’s legal legacy remains unparalleled in Pakistan to this day. Condolences to the Jahangir family and the many who were served in that good fight
— fatima bhutto (@fbhutto) February 11, 2018
Am requesting the #PrimeMinister#ShahidKhaqanAbbasi to consider giving Ms. #AsmaJehangir a state funeral & allowing the Sindh Government to fly the national flag at half mast out of respect for her matchless contributions & unwavering principles #StateFuneralForAsmaJehangir
— Murad Ali Shah (@MuradAliShahPPP) February 11, 2018
Even notable media personalities and journalists expressed their thoughts regarding her life and passing away:
Bravest, fearless, a true democrat Asma Jahangir has passed away… sad day… RIP
— Shahzeb Khanzada (@shazbkhanzdaGEO) February 11, 2018
My tribute to Asma Jahangir-Death of Asia’s Joan of Arc – The Indian Express https://t.co/2oW9CAhvi8
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) February 12, 2018
I still remembered how Asma Jehangir helped media workers time and again during Wage Award struggle. Once when Ch. Aitzaz Ahsan decline to contest the case, Asma come forward and won the case for media workers.
— Mazhar Abbas (@MazharAbbasGEO) February 11, 2018
A male friend once asked: why is #AsmaJahangir always so angry? What disturbed him perhaps was why she always spoke up and appeared utterly unafraid in this world dominated by masculinity’s apoplectic id. For me, this is what #AsmaJahangir was: she was brave enough to be angry.
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) February 11, 2018
Generally, when ppl pass away, one remembers the line “hum na hoan gay, koi hum sa ho ga.” But it’s difficult to say that abt Asma Jehangir. Un jaisay aur nahin hotay.
— Feisal H. Naqvi (@laalshah) February 11, 2018
2 important people left all of us today. RIP Asma Jehangir & Qazi Wajid. Beyshakk to Allah we belong & to him alone is our return.
— Hamza Ali Abbasi (@iamhamzaabbasi) February 11, 2018
— Azmi Shabana (@AzmiShabana) February 11, 2018
— Mahwash Ajaz (@mahwashajaz_) February 11, 2018
Saddened by the news of sudden death of Ms Asma Jehangir,the renowned Human Rights activist from Pakistan.She was very vocal on the grave HR violations in #Kashmir &actively supported our just cause.We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family and pray for the departed soul
— Mirwaiz Umar Farooq (@MirwaizKashmir) February 11, 2018
It is Asma Jehangir who deserves the Medal of Democracy and State Funeral.
— Matiullah Jan (@Matiullahjan919) February 11, 2018
I shudder to think of Pakistan’s future without Asma Jehangir. So vulnerable & unguarded.
A petite, 5 ft tall woman stood tall like a giant, staring down at the mightest & most powerful, fighting for the rights of the wretched &down trodden without a fear in the world. Who now?
— Alizeh Iqbal Haider (@AlizehIHaider) February 11, 2018
Nobel Prize laureate and another female Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai expressed her grief as well.
Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir – a saviour of democracy and human rights.
I met her a week ago in Oxford. I cannot believe she is no more among us. The best tribute to her is to continue her fight for human rights and democracy. pic.twitter.com/Tf7VOYfvq5
— Malala (@Malala) February 11, 2018
Across the border, the tributes flowed in:
Asma Jahangir , undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights who had the courage to face the wrath of the dictators and the fury of the fundamentalist Mulla has passed away . It is the loss of the whole Sub continent .
— Javed Akhtar (@Javedakhtarjadu) February 11, 2018
Some grieved and some continued their criticism even after her death:
LIES. #AsmaJehangir visited post-riot Gujarat in 2002 as the UN Special Rapporteur. In her report she questioned Modi on his role in the violence. She also said that it is unclear who was behind Godhra but said that it cannot be a justification for the mass murder of Muslims. https://t.co/sZbYGbdIvs
— omer (@timesn0w) February 11, 2018
Correct me if I’m wrong.
in my whole life I never witnessed #AsmaJahangir ever condemned the attacks on pak army, she never spoke against Indian brutality , never uttered a single word against Israel on committing atrocities ag Palestinian, rohingya, what kinda activist was she?
— Mehreen sabtain (@mehreen_sabtain) February 11, 2018