Senate expresses profound grief over demise of Asma Jahangir

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ISLAMABAD: Senate on Monday expressed profound grief and sorrow over sad demise of Ms Asma Jahangir.

In a unanimously passed condolence resolution moved by Raja Zafarul Haq, the House expressed its deepest sympathies with the bereaved family and prayed Almighty Allah to shower His infinite blessings upon the departed soul. May her soul rest in eternal peace (Ameen) and may Almighty Allah give her family the strength and fortitude to bear this irreparable loss, the house prayed.

Ms. Asma Jahangir was born in Lahore on January 27, 1952, into a prosperous and politically active family with a history of activism and human rights work.

She completed her bachelors of arts and law from Lahore and then went on to pursue higher legal studies from Switzerland, Canada and US.

A lawyer by profession, Ms. Asma Jahangir remained defender of the human and women rights, rights of religious minorities and children in Pakistan.

In 1987 she co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and became its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as Commission’s Chairperson.

After serving as one of the leaders of the Lawyers Movement, she became Pakistan’s first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

She co-chaired South Asia Forum for Human Rights and was the Vice-President of International Federation for Human Rights.

She remained a member of the Commission of Enquiry for Women from 1994-1997 and also served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion from August 2004 to July 2010, including serving on the UN panel for inquiry into Sri Lankan human rights violations and on a fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements.

Ms. Jahangir, a fierce defender of democracy was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential women. A champion of human rights, Jahangir was unafraid to speak loudly against those attacking minority religions and women and was known for taking up court cases of victimised and marginalised sections of society.

She won scores of national and international awards including Hilal-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-i-Imtiaz.

She authored two books: Divine Sanction? The Hadood ordinance and Children of a Lesser God: Child Prisoners of Pakistan.

Ms. Asma Jahangir was a brave lady who not only motivated other females to stand up for their rights but also helped them to break the shackles of society’s conservative minds.

The services rendered by late Ms. Asma Jahangir would be long remembered and her loss will be deeply mourned. – AFP

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Story first published: 12th February 2018

Originally Posted on SamaaNews

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