Asma Jahangir: Fearless voice of Pakistan

A lady of pride, the fearless voice for many all across Pakistan, Asma Jahangir, left this world on 11th February 2018. What a tragedy it is for Pakistan. We lost such a renowned member of the Supreme Court, a lady who truly believed in justice, a lady who stood strong against human right violations and an idol for many.

She was a courageous fighter and believed in humanity, believed in justice. She was born into a politically active family, who had history of human right work. When Asma was just 18 years old, her father Malik Ghulam Jilani was detained by the government which was under President Yahya Khan in 1971. He was not given any legal rights, so he sent a letter stating a possibility of release by a jail employee. Many months later she was successful in winning her father’s freedom and thus started Asma’s love for fighting for a cause and giving justice to anyone who would come to her.

She was a compassionate soul, who used most of her career to fight for the rights of women, children and the minorities living in Pakistan. She is the founding member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, she was the security general and later chairman person of the organization. Asma and her sister, with others established the first women’s firm in 1980. Later on in the same year they also helped for the Womens Action Forum. This was a pressuring group that would campaign against Pakistan’s discrimination laws against women, such as a women’s testimony was not equal to a man, the victim of rape needs to prove their  innocence or else they will face punishment and so on.

Asma helped from the AGHS legal aid, which was the first free legal aid in Pakistan. She was not only known in Pakistan but she was known internationally as well. She was given the duty by the United Nations as the United Nations Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran.

As a lawyer Asma was active, she worked for the good of the community; She held the honor of being the first female senior advocate as the Supreme Court Bar Association from November 01 2010 to October 31 2011. She received many awards  ,2014 Right Livelihood Award, 2010 Freedom Award, Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, UNESCO/Bilbao Prize and so on.

She lived such an impressive, productive life in our society that she is an example everyone, not only in this country but in this world they should follow. Pakistan has truly hit a great loss, by losing her and truly she is irreplaceable.

May you rest in Peace Asma Janghir. Thank You for everything you did for our country.

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