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Editorial: Rights icon ‘Asma Jahangir’

Not only in other side of the Durand Line, but people in Afghanistan shocked by the sadden demise of eminent lawyer and activist Asma Jahangir in Lahor city of Pakistan. She was 66. Based on report, the renowned human rights activist Jahangir and the former president of Supreme Court Bar Association had shifted to a private hospital Saturday night after suffering a cardiac arrest. She couldn’t survive from the attack, and lost the most human-lover advocate. The Afghan people, and media family took to social media to express condolences over the sudden demise of the outspoken lawyer. She was also a UN rapporteur on human rights, and extrajudicial killings. She was on Time magazine’s list of 100 influential women. Certainly, she will not be forgotten. She always stood against discrimination—she was tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality. To stand against such a brutal military establishment of Pakistan, is not an easy task. But she stood till end. She was advocate to all human beings irrespective of ethnicity and religion. Human lives and rights were important for her—that is all. Some has given her a title of brave man. This is absolutely injustice. She was brave woman, worked harder than men advocators. She was selfless, humble and fearless servant of the voiceless people. No one would know that this will be her last sit-in together for the wretched of the earth in the support of the most voiceless community in Pakistan. Three days ago the indefatigable Asma Jahangir came to express unity and solidarity with Pashtun Long March. May Allah the Almighty give all advocators strength to carry her mission forward? There are plenty of advocators, but liker is rare—even not yet. The ongoing atrocity of Pakistani military establishment against minor ethnic groups is very much visible. A fierce defender of democracy, Jahangir often criticized Pakistan’s military and intelligence. She even stood candidly to defend minority Christians. The human right activists around the world adored her strength and bravery. Since she was a champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy, Pakistani dictatorial military establishment might be happy over her demise. It is not accusation. She was put under house arrest and later imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the movement for the restoration of political and fundamental rights. She was again put under house arrest in November 2007. Five years ago, leaked documents suggested that some Pakistani intelligence officers had planned to kill her. The Pakistani cruel military had never seemed happy for her (Jahangir’s) support to several clients who were denied their fundamental rights. And Jahangir’s recent stand behind Pashtun Long March won the hearts of millions of people, and proved to be called as rights icon. No doubt, humanity has lost a very much principled, courageous and experienced leader and voice. Asma’s struggle and her valuable services to humanity, and firm stand against military establishment in Pakistan should be a role model for many many. May she eternally rest in peace; and deeply express condolences with her family members and friends.

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