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Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies at 66

12 February 2018

She was admitted to a private hospital last night over cardiac problem, where she breathed her last. She was rushed to hospital after falling ill but passed away.

A fierce defender of democracy, Jahangir was an outspoken critic of Pakistan's powerful military establishment and Islamic extremists.

She joined core of lawyers of Supreme Court in 1982 and since then she devoted her life for human rights and supremacy of Constitution.

Jahangir was also a vocal opponent of judicial overreach and would often confront the superior judiciary when it would extend its jurisdiction in her opinion.

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Jahangir, a Ramon Magsaysay award recipient, fought against the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq and was imprisoned in 1983 for participating in the pro-democracy movement.

There is still bad violence against women, discrimination against minorities and near-slavery for bonded labourers, Jahangir told AFP during an interview in 2014, but human rights have made greater strides in Pakistan than may be apparent.

Asma had received the Friends of Liberation War Honour conferred upon her late father Malik Ghulam Jilani by the Bangladesh government in March, 2013. In 2012 she claimed her life was in danger from the feared Inter Services Intelligence spy agency.

Salman Akram Raja, a prominent Pakistani lawyer, tweeted that she was the bravest human being he ever knew and that the world was "less" without her.

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A secular-minded Muslim, Ms. Jehangir defended the rights of Christians and other minorities throughout her career, denouncing the abuse of blasphemy laws against them.

Untimely death of Asma Jahangir, an eminent lawyer and human rights activist, is an irreparable loss for Pakistan, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a condolence message here Sunday.

She was a wise and courageous warrior of human rights who included in her report the complaints of families regarding the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran. "Her spirit will live as long as that voice in our head keeps telling us what is not right, what must not be tolerated, why not to give in or give up". "We are waiting for our relatives to return to Lahore", her daughter Munizae Jahangir said in a tweet. She done her bachelors from Kinnaird College and LLB from the Punjab University (PU). Her courage to speak truth to power was unprecedented and exemplary.

PTI leader Asad Umar said: "Sorry to hear about asma jahangir passing away".

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Pakistani rights activist Asma Jahangir dies at 66