Sindh CM requests state funeral for Asma Jahangir

She was a tireless advocate brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind: UN General Secretary

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NEWS DESK

ISLAMABAD

Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Murad Ali Shah on Sunday requested Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to consider giving iconic human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir a state funeral.

Jahangir, 66, passed away in Lahore on Sunday afternoon after suffering cardiac arrest. She collapsed while on a telephone call, discussing a meeting with a lawyer, and was rushed to a private hospital but could not survive.

A doctor concerned at Hameed Latif Hospital told media that she died of brain haemorrhage. She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son.

Her untimely demise was met with a national outpouring of grief and shock, and the Sindh CM announced that a day of mourning would be observed across the province.

According to family sources, Asma’s funeral will be held on Feb 13 at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium at 2pm, as her daughter and brother are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan from abroad.

CM Shah, in a letter addressed to the PM, requested permission to fly the national flag at half-mast in the province on Tuesday “in addition to three days of mourning”.

Asma, known for her outspoken nature and unrelenting pursuit for human rights — as well as for remaining undaunted in the face of extreme pressure and opposition — will be remembered as a champion of the disenfranchised and for her services towards building a democratic and more inclusive Pakistan.

The Pakistan Bar Council announced three days of mourning across the country starting on Monday.

Senate condolence

The Senate on Monday passed a condolence resolution expressing sorrow over Asma’s demise.

Asma “remained (a) defender of the human and women’s rights, rights of religious minorities and children” read the resolution unanimously passed by the upper house.

Meanwhile, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz visited Asma’s residence to offer condolences.

UN chief pays tribute

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday paid tribute to “human rights giant” Asma Jahangir following her death, praising her courage in campaigns for justice and equality for all.

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.

“We have lost a human rights giant,” the UN chief said in a statement released after Asma Jahangir’s death was announced on Sunday. “She was a tireless advocate for inalienable rights of all people and for equality — whether in her capacity as a Pakistani lawyer in the domestic justice system, as a global civil society activist, or as a Special Rapporteur. Asma was brilliant, deeply principled, courageous and kind.”

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