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Pak activist Asma Jahangir dies of cardiac arrest

Monday, February 12, 2018
By M Zulqernain

Lahore: Asma Jahangir, Pakistan's renowned human rights icon, social activist and an outspoken critic of the country's powerful military establishment, died here yesterday of cardiac arrest at the age of 66, her daughter said.

Known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights, Asma was the first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

"I am devastated at the loss of my mother Asma Jahangir. We shall be announcing date of funeral soon. We are waiting for our relatives to return to Lahore," her daughter Munizae Jahangir said in a tweet.

"Asma suffered heart attack yesterday morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life but couldn't," said senior lawyer Adeel Raja.

Quoting family sources, Geo News reported that Asma's funeral will be held on February 13.

Bar associations across Pakistan said they will observe three days of mourning and not partake in court proceedings.

As the news of her death broke, condolences started pouring in from lawyers, rights activists and politicians.

In a condolence message, President Mamnoon Hussain expressed grief over Asma's death, saying she rendered "unprecedented" services for the rule of law.

"Today the country has been deprived of a courageous and disciplined person, who was the voice of the voiceless," local media quoted Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi's statement.

Ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke about Asma's work for women and stance against dictators, saying it would be difficult to fill the void left by her death.

"Shocked & deeply saddened to hear of Asma Jehangir's sudden death. It is an irreparable loss. May she rest in eternal peace. Ameen," Maryam Nawaz, daughter of Sharif said.

"Democracy, human rights and resistance against oppression lost a great soldier- Asma Jehangir. It's everyone's loss. What a sad day!" she said.

Pakistan Peoples Party Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari expressed shock over the her demise, saying she was not just a person but was an effective voice for human rights.

"Deeply saddened by the news of sudden demise of renowned lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir sahiba. Pakistan has lost a passionate champion of human rights and a staunch supporter of democracy. May her soul rest in peace!," Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said in a tweet.

"Asma Jehangir's death is a loss of a strong voice for the marginalised and oppressed. Despite our differences I always respected her for her fight for human rights and for standing up for her convictions," said Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party Imran Khan.

"My hero, the woman I always looked up to, the woman who inspired me- heart broken- can’t imagine how we will ever recover from this #AsmaJhangir #pakistan" said Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid.

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