Nation mourns death of leading human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir

Human rights icon Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore

Asma Jahangir dies at 66: Pakistan human rights activist fought for persecuted minorities, opposed military regime

Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media.

To be a successful activist lawyer, she once noted, one must "have an eye for what's hot, the right case, the right bench".

"Shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Asma Jehangir's sudden death".

She was a huge part of lawyers' movement in 2007-08.

She also pressed for legal reforms to protect the rights of bonded laborers, who often spend years trapped by debt to owners of brick quarries, textile looms or wheat fields, and she lobbied for the enforcement of widely ignored laws against child labor.

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The representative of Baloch Republican Party to the UNHRC, Abdul Nawaz Bugti said that Asma Jahangir was a fearless voice of the oppressed people, including the Baloch who stood for their rights and spoke truth to the power.

Jehangir also served as president of the Supreme Court's Bar Association and was a United Nations rapporteur on human rights and extrajudicial killings.

Outside of Pakistan, Jahangir served as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

The death was confirmed by her daughter Munizae Jahangir, who said the cause was a heart attack.

"She has fought against the military dictators and also for the rights of downtrodden individuals".

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She asked whether the two Bangladeshis were more important than the people living in Pakistan.

She was 66 and is survived by a son and two daughters.

"She was the first to visit to Dera Bugti when no journalist or human rights defender could go their because of ongoing military operation against Nawab Akbar Bugti in 2006". She championed the rights of religious minorities - especially those who were charged under the country's blasphemy laws - and women and men killed in the name of honour.

Daily Times Editor Raza Ahmad Rumi called her a "hero".

After her graduation from the prestigious Kinnaird College and LLB from the Punjab University in 1978, she hit the headlines when she enthusiastically jumped into the Movement for Restoration of Democracy (MRD) against the Zia ul-Haq dictatorship and was jailed. Her sister Hina Jilani has rightly said it is a loss for everyone as she took up cases of the voiceless. She was most unwanted person by establishment of Pakistan during all marial Laws but she never compromised or bowed down against dictatorial rules. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is now studying at Oxford.

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