Leading human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir was laid to rest in her family’s farmhouse on Bedian Road, Lahore on Tuesday.

Her funeral prayers, led by Farooq Maududi, were offered at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. A number of top government officials, prominent members of the legal fraternity, celebrities, activists, and ordinary citizens, alongside members of her family, attended the funeral prayers.

Police form a protective cordon around Asma Jahangir’s funeral procession. ─ DawnNews

Jahangir, 66, passed away on Sunday afternoon in Lahore after suffering a cardiac arrest.

She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son.

Asma Jahangir’s funeral prayers offered at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium

‘A towering and fearless personality’

Acknowledging Jahangir’s services for the protection of human rights, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday called the activist a “towering and fearless personality”.

Also read: ‘The courtrooms of Islamabad High Court will miss Asma’s valorous voice’

During a case hearing, Justice Nisar said any lawyer that wishes to attend Jahangir’s funeral was free to go. He announced that he, too, would go to offer his condolences later.

Life for a cause

Jahangir, known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights — as well as for remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition — will be remembered as a champion of the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan.

Explore: Asma Jahangir: The poster person for democrats and human rights defenders

Jahangir, who was born in January 1952, received a bachelor’s degree from Kinnaird College and an LLB from Punjab University. She was called to the Lahore High Court in 1980 and to the Supreme Court in 1982. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

Asma Jahangir’s funeral procession makes its way to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium. ─ DawnNews

She became a pro-democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which agitated against military dictator Ziaul Haq’s regime.

She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.

Read more: Asma Jahangir: The street fighter

She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the Women’s Action Forum.

She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz. She was also awarded a Unesco/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France.

A panaflex erected by a roadside displaying Asma Jahangir reads “All of the world salutes you”. ─ DawnNews

Messages of condolences from members of the legal community, politicians as well as media figures had poured in soon after her sudden demise.

The Pakistan Bar Council had announced three days of mourning following the day of her death.


With additional reporting by Arif Malik.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here