Asma Jahangir’s demise ‘a great loss of Pakistan’

Human rights activists and organisations across the globe grieved the demise of Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani senior lawyer and a strong voice of the oppressed.

Published: 11th February 2018 08:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2018 08:30 PM   |  A+A-

Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jehangir (File | AP)


GENEVA/HONG KONG: Human rights activists and organisations across the globe grieved the demise of Asma Jahangir, a Pakistani senior lawyer and a strong voice of the oppressed, who passed away on Sunday.

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

“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 was one of the few Pakistani who spoke against the state atrocities against the Baloch people and fought for their rights. The Baloch people have lost a voice and she will forever be remembered. May her soul rest in peace,” he added.

Munir Mengal, President of Baloch Voice Association NGO based at Paris, France said, “Asma was a very brave lady. She struggled and spent her life for the Human rights issues of the oppressed people in Pakistan. There was a time in 2008 and 2009 that she raised a bold voice for the missing persons including the Baloch Missing Persons that was the opponents in Pakistan called her a RAW agent, Mosad agent and an American lobbyist.”

“Her demise is a big loss for the marginalised communities in Pakistan, a loss for the secular people of Pakistan, and a loss for the voice of reason. That is why even today many voices arise from the establishment of Pakistan that an opponent of Pakistan has died,” he added.

Senior researcher at Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Baseer Naveed echoed the popular thought that Pakistan has lost a strong voice of democracy, intolerance, rule of law and human rights.

“She has fought against the military dictators and also for the rights of downtrodden individuals. Asma Jehangir's death is a great loss of Pakistan. The generals and judges will be happy to see that now there is no one who can fight like Asma Jahangir,” Naveed said.

Jahangir passed away at the age of 66, earlier in the day. 

The cause of her death has not been confirmed yet, but according to media reports, it was due to cardiac arrest.

She was the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum, and actively participated in protests against the establishment.

She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.

Jahangir is also a recipient of the 2010 Freedom Award, 2014 Right Livelihood Award, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, and an Officier de la Legion d'honneur by France.


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