CJM , Lahore pays tribute
to one of its
daring human rights activist,
CJM Class of 1966
Asma Jahangir, a prominent human rights lawyer, social activist and a pro democracy activist of Pakistan was a beacon of hope for Pakistanis who hope for a peaceful, progressive and secular Pakistan as she devoted her whole life for speaking up for the rights of underprivileged and always challenged the status quo, a beacon of hope in the patriarchal Pakistani society who stood for women empowerment.
Born in Lahore on the 27th of January 1952, Asma completed her schooling from the distinguished Convent of Jesus and Mary and later she went to Kinnaird College and did her Bachelor’s. After that Asma went on to did her LLB from Punjab University Lahore and in 1980 she joined Lahore High court and Supreme Court of Pakistan two years later.
Acclaimed by many as Pakistan’s Iron Lady, Asma’s struggle started when her father was arrested by the dictator, Gen. Yahya Khan. A young law student, she fought the case against dictatorship and for the first time the courts declared the army rule as unlawful. When the military dictatorship of Zia ul Haq was at its peak, Asma participated in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in the same year, Asma Jahangir was imprisoned by the then dictator but even that couldn’t silence her. Asma Jahangir was considered as the focal point of the successful 2007’s Lawyers Movement against another military dictator, Pervez Musharraf.
Her whole life, Asma stressed on peace between India and Pakistan.
Among the many international awards she received the prestigious ‘Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders’ and ‘Ramon Magsaysay Award’ in 1995, she later received the 2010 Freedom Award from the International Rescue Committee. It is pertinent here to mention that Asma Jahangir was nominated for the highly acclaimed and prestigious Nobel Peace Prize Award. Not just internationally but Nationally, Asma Jahangir was recognized for her efforts as she was bestowed with Hilal-e-Imtiaz and later Sitar-e-Imtiaz in 2010, the highest civilian award in Pakistan.
She is survived by three children, two daughters and one son. One of her daughter Munizae Jahangir (CJM Class of 1993) is a journalist while the other one Sulema Jahangir (CJM Class of 1994) is also a successful lawyer. Her sister Hina Jilani ( CJM Class of 1966) is also a prominent Human Rights Activist and a lawyer.
Lets us pray for the departed soul and for the family to have the strength to bear the loss. Let us pray for our country that lost one of its best.
Asma Jehangir RIP