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Rights icon Asma Jahangir passes away

Rights icon Asma Jahangir passes away

Pakistan's leading lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday.

Born in 1952, Jahangir was renowned for defending the rights of persecuted minorities in Pakistan.

Her daughters were kidnapped and assaulted in 2008. "Despite our differences I always respected her for her fight for human rights and for standing up for her convictions", former cricketer and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan said in a tweet.

She was critical of the Supreme Court for "judicial activism" and also criticised the apex court for disqualifying Nawaz Sharif from the office of prime minister in July a year ago.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said his party was in mourning over the death of Asma Jahangir. She was the first woman to serve as head of the SCBA.

Pakistan Bar Council's Executive Committee Chairman Ghulam Shabbir Shar and Vice Chairman Kamran Murtaza, expressing their deep sense of shock and grief on the very sad demise of Asma Jehangir, have called the members of the legal fraternity to observe mourning on the sad demise of the fearless lady for three days from February 12 to 14.

She was imprisoned in 1983 for her pro-democracy activities and put under house arrest in 2007 for opposing President Pervez Musharraf's removal of the Supreme Court's chief justice.

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Ms Jahangir called for an inquiry at the time, demanding the government "find the forces who wanted to silence" her.

A decade later, long after democratic rule was restored, she was still denouncing the power of Pakistan's military and intelligence establishments and the façade of civilian control.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi expressed grief at Asma Jahangir's death, praising her contribution to upholding the rule of law and safeguarding human rights.

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif said Pakistan had become poorer with her demise. She served on several missions for the United Nations and won numerous worldwide awards. She struggled and spent her life for the Human rights issues of the oppressed people in Pakistan.

Asma has received several awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2010 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz.

"She was courageous and dedicated rights and social activist and above all the voice of the voiceless", said he.

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