Known for her outspoken nature, Asma Jahangir, a renowned Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist died earlier today at the age of 66 due to cardiac arrest.
Known for her outspoken nature, Asma Jahangir, a renowned Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist died earlier today at the age of 66 due to cardiac arrest. The news was confirmed by her daughter on Twitter. Jahangir’s daughter is a journalist and she posted this message on social media: “I am devastated @ loss of my mother Asma Jahangir. We shall B announcing the date of funeral soon. We R waiting 4 our relatives 2 return 2 Lahore.” Her daughter added that Jahangir was an outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment. Senior lawyer Adeel Raja, while talking about the death of the eminent lawyer, said that Asma suffered a heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. He added that even though the doctors tried to save her life, they couldn’t.
Born on January 27, 1952 in the city of Lahore, Asma Jahangir was the first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan. Her life was dedicated towards her career and she went on to defend the rights of women, children and other minorities. Jahangir started her career an advocate at high and Supreme courts after obtaining an LLB degree from the Punjab University in the year 1978. She was called to the Lahore High Court in 1980 after which she joined the Pakistan Supreme Court after two years.
In the year 1983, Jahangir became a champion democracy activist and after which she was subsequently imprisoned for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military rule of Pakistan’s longest-serving President Ziaul Haq. She moved to Geneva in 1986, whee she became the vice-chair of the Defence for Children International. Asma Jahangir remained there for two years before moving back to Pakistan in 1988.
She was not only the first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan but she also co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987 and then went on to become its Secretary General until 1993 when she was elevated as commission’s chairperson. In the year 2007, Jahangir was arrested by the government of then military dictator Pervez Musharraf, and in 2012 claimed her life was in danger from the country’s top spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The renowned activist is survived by two daughters and a son. One of her daughters, Muneezay Jahangir is a TV anchor.