Asma Jahangir defies patriarchy one last time by having mixed funeral

Asma Jahangir

Asma Jahangir

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.

Heather Nauert spoke highly of Asma Jahangir during a press briefing in Washington.

The lawyer's funeral prayer was offered at Gaddafi Stadium and was attended by scores of men, women and children.

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Jahangir co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and was president of the Supreme Court's Bar Association . As human rights gain universal currency, the relevance of her work cuts across nationalities and cultures.

Jahangir faced death threats, beatings and imprisonment to win landmark human rights cases while standing up to dictators. "She would always boost my confidence and her support was the reason why young women lawyers got equal opportunities as their male counterparts", she told Daily Times with teary eyes.

"The recipient of many awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, she will continue as an emblem of the struggle for human rights and democracy in Pakistan", the news release stated. "She truly embodied the universality of our struggle", RSF Deputy Director-General Antoine Bernard said.

For years, it said, she courageously defended the rights of those who did not have a voice, and championed the rule of law, democracy, and human rights including freedom of religion or belief. "She will be remembered throughout the journey towards stronger women rights in Pakistan", Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said.

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Jahangir, who was 66, served as chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and was widely respected for her outspoken criticism of militant and extreme Islamist groups. Jahangir warned that violence on a large scale could happen again "unless political exploitation of communal distinctions is effectively prevented and advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is adequately addressed". Since her report, savage attacks have taken place not only in India but also in Buddhist Burma and in Sri Lanka, as a civil war involving Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims ended.

Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch tweeted: "We will miss her incredible courage in insisting that human rights can not be compromised, ever".

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