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Asma Jahangir laid to rest in Lahore

14 February 2018

"Asma Jahangir always fought for democracy and what guarantees democracy, starting with the press".

The funeral prayers for leading human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir were offered at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.

Most recently she served as the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, tirelessly fighting on behalf of the Iranian people as they demanded freedom, dignity, and respect for human rights.

Jahangir was instrumental in a campaign that resulted in Pakistani women acquiring the right to marry of their own free will in 2003.

Some Pakistani democracy advocates were unhappy that she was less critical of politicians than she was of the military.

Jahangir and her sister Hina Jilani, cofounder with Jahangir of the country's first all-female law firm, were not only advocates for women's rights but also influential models for women in the legal professions.

Asma Jahangir passed away on Sunday from a cardiac arrest at a local hospital in Lahore.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Kandhkot civil society paid a rich tribute to veteran social activist Asma Jahangir.

"She was a legendary human rights defender: pioneering, determined, calm, courageous - and a lovely human being", the office said in a tweet posted on its official account.

Terming her as a "global icon" in human rights, the US Department of State spokesperson recounted Jahangir's services for Pakistan as the founder and chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association. In July 2017, she criticized the decision of the Supreme Court to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office, since it was widely believed his disqualification on a charge of financial impropriety bore the fingerprints of the military. "Our deepest condolences to the family", she wrote. She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers' Movement, for which she was put under house arrest.

"Pakistan has lost its fiercest leader", Sufi said.

Asma Jahangir laid to rest in Lahore