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Pakistan rights activist Asma Jahangir dies

Pakistan’s human rights icon and renowned lawyer Asma Jahangir died on Sunday in Lahore, Gulf news reports.

The cause of her death was not immediately confirmed but multiple reports suggest she passed away from cardiac arrest after she was rushed to a local hospital. Jahangir was born in Lahore in January, 1952.

Jahangir, 66, was one of the most respected human rights activists in Pakistan and was well known for standing against military dictators in Pakistan.

The human rights icon has criticised the Pakistan government’s response to the war crimes trials in Bangladesh.

He received Friends of Liberation War Honour conferred upon her late father by the Bangladesh government, at a function on March 24 , 2013.

Her father, Malik Ghulam Jilani, was arrested and imprisoned for denouncing Pakistan military’s atrocities and genocide in Bangladesh in 1971.

She was most feared by the politicians as she always challenged them against human rights violations.

She was the torch bearer of independent and strong judicial system. She was also a vocal opponent of judicial overreach and would often confront the superior judiciary when it would extend its jurisdiction in her opinion.

She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement against then president Pervez Musharraf, for which she was put under house arrest.

Jahangir graduated from Kinnaird College and received an LLB from Punjab University. She joined the Lahore High Court in 1980 and the Supreme Court in 1982. She became the first female president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

She was also the co-founder of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum.

File Photo File Photo The democracy activist was jailed in 1983 for her participation in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy during the regime of military dictator Ziaul Haque.

She was also placed under house arrest for her active role in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement after President Pervez Musharraf suspended Supreme Court Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

Jahangir has received several awards for her work, including the Freedom Award, the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders and the French Legion of Honour.