Prominent Pakistani senior lawyer and human rights activist, Asma Jahangir, passed away at the age of 66 in Lahore on Sunday. The cause of her death has not been confirmed yet, but according to media reports, it was due to cardiac arrest. Born in Lahore in Pakistan on January 27, 1952, she held LLB degree from Punjab University. In 1980, she was called to the Lahore High Court and to the Pakistan Supreme Court in 1982. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as the president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, The Dawn reported.
Jahangir had participated in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy and protested against former Pakistan President Zia-ul-Haq's oppressive military rule. She was arrested and jailed in 1983. She was the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum. Jahangir was also active in the 2007 Lawyers' Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.
In 2007, the renowned activist was put under house arrest, when she agitated along with 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. She has received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2010.
She was also awarded a 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. Jahangir is also a recipient of the 2010 Freedom Award and 2014 Right Livelihood Award. Many people took to Twitter and paid tribute to the prominent activist.
A user tweeted, "I can’t believe I’m writing this but Asma Jahangir Sahiba is no more with us."
"What a tragic day for Pakistan today. We lost a brave, fearless voice. She stood against dictators, she raised voices for those who did not have them. An irreplaceable loss. Irreplaceable. #RestinPeace #AsmaJahangir", wrote another user on Twitter.
Bakhtawar Zardari, the daughter of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto took to the micro-blogging site, "Shocked to hear @Asma_Jahangir passed away. Huge loss for us, for #Pakistan. She was courageous, fearless, invincible. In absolute disbelief. Please pray for her & her family."
Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of former Pakistan President, Nawaz Sharif, wrote on Twitter, "Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir. It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!"