Asma Jahangir was the most robust voice for human rights in Pakistan. Her first death anniversary was marked on Monday.
She founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan in 1987 to champion the noble cause of safeguarding human rights in the country. She combated injustice, wrongdoings, and aggression for 30 years and passed away at the age of 66 years.
Asma fearlessly raised a voice of protest in front of every despotic ruler and dictator. She knew no fear and continued defending the democratic norms in the country in the eras of Ziaul Haq and Pervez Musharraf.
She also made history by becoming the first female president of the Pakistan Bar Council. As a lawyer and an activist, she played a vital role in the movement for reinstatement of the judiciary as well.
Asma authored a number of books and research papers including the one on the critical issue of the Hudood Ordinance. She also vehemently criticized the country’s institutions, particularly the Pakistan Army.
She opened her eyes in a dictatorship. She inherited resistance from her father, Malik Ghulam Jilani, who filed a petition against General Yahya’s martial law. After the military regime detained her father, her real life struggle started. When she was still a teenage girl, Asma was leading street protest demonstrations against the military dictator.