Asma Jahangir's funeral to be held outside Qaddafi Stadium today


"I am writing to you to consider giving Asma Jahangir a state funeral and honouring her decades of selfless services to the nation". She held the United Nations mandate as Special Rapporteur on Extra Judicial Killings from 1998 to 2004 and Freedom of Religion or Belief from 2004 to 2010.

The pro-democracy activist was to be buried at a more private ceremony later in the day. "She will always be remembered for her brilliant record in defense of human rights and her courageous reports on the crimes of the Iranian regime", tweeted Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI.

Antonio Guterres issued his 'heartfelt condolences to those grieving the 66-year-old lawyer, who co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and also once served as UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran.

In 2010, she became the first woman to be elected President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, overcoming a campaign that was marked by scurrilous attacks on her and her family by rivals and critics in the media.

Others talked about her impact on human rights throughout the region, expressing their condolences on her passing. Pakistan has still not digested the fact that HRCP brings out annual surveys of how the state continues to crush its Hindu and Christian minorities - including the Hindus of Tharparkar who travel to Lahore to describe how Hafiz Saeed persuades them to embrace Islam if they want to benefit from his charity.

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The tributes paid to her within hours after the news of her death are a testament to the value of her relentless efforts to establish social justice and promote peace and equality. "She was the strongest woman we had the pleasure of working with".

Even the ones who do not comprehend Pakistan much would understand how unsafe and deadly it could be to resist military dictatorship and religious extremism in that country. "For years, 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", the press release said. We have known her as a champion of democracy and human rights, defending the rights of women and speaking out courageously against authoritarian systems, in her own country as well as in the rest of South Asia.

Undaunted, she continued to raise the profile of human rights by taking up the cases of the poorest and most helpless people, setting up - with her sister, Hina Jilani - the first centre offering legal aid in Pakistan, the AGHS Legal Aid Cell. At the time of her death, Asma Jahangir was also a member of Amnesty International's Regional Advisory Group for the Asia-Pacific region. The house passed separate resolutions to express grief over the death of Senator Bangash, PPP leader Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani and former senator Abdul Majeed Qazi.

Asma Jahangir was shifted to hospital on Sunday but could not survive the cardiac arrest.