Renowned Pak Lawyer, Activist Asma Jahangir Passes Away at 66

Asma suffered a cardiac arrest and breathed her last in Hameed Latif Hospital in Lahore.

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Pakistan’s well known human rights lawyer and social activist Asma Jahangir died in Lahore, on Sunday, 11 February, of cardiac arrest.
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Pakistan's well known human rights lawyer and social activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore, on Sunday, 11 February, of cardiac arrest. She was aged 66.

"Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life but couldn't," senior lawyer Adeel Raja said.

Born in January 1952 in Lahore, Asma co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She had also been Supreme Court Bar Association president.

After obtaining LLB degree from the Punjab University in 1978, she started her career as an advocate at high and supreme courts.

She became a champion democracy activist and was subsequently imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy against the military dictator of Zia-ul-Haq.

After co-founding it in 1987, Jahangir was elected as the Secretary General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan until 1993. She was also the first woman in Pakistan to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

In 1983, Jahangir was put under house arrest and jailed for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy.

In 2007, she was put under house arrest again for protesting along with fellow lawyers in response to the former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf's decision of unconstitutionally suspending Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the Chief Justice of Pakistan's Supreme Court.

For her work in Human Rights services, she was awarded the Hilal-i-Imtiaz, the second highest civilian award of Pakistan. In 2010, she was awarded with the 2010 UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights.

She is survived by two daughters and a son. Her daughter Muneezay Jehangir is a TV anchor.

As the news of her death broke condolences started pouring in from the lawyers, rights activists and politicians across borders, terming it a "great loss" for Pakistan.

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