Leading Human Rights activist, lawyer Asma Jahangir passes away in Lahore

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Pakistan lost one of its most moderate faces on Sunday as the renowned senior lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away from cardiac arrest in Lahore.

She has served as chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and was widely respected for her outspoken criticism of the country's militant and extreme Islamist groups and unparalleled record as rights activist. Local TV stations broadcast footage showing public figures and Jehangir's friends sobbing and consoling each other outside her residence as her body was brought home from a hospital.

She headed the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and remained the Supreme Court Bar Association chairperson.

Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana Sunday expressed condolence over the death of famous lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir. While she received several national awards, including the Sitara-I-Imtiaz in 1995, Jahangir was again put under house arrest in November 2007 after President Pervez Musharraf imposed Emergency.

In 1983, she was put under house arrest and later imprisoned when she campaigned for women's rights and democracy during the rule of Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq.

There is still awful violence against women, discrimination against minorities and near-slavery for bonded labourers, Jahangir told AFP during an interview in 2014, but human rights have made greater strides in Pakistan than may be apparent.

"She was courageous and dedicated rights and social activist and above all the voice of the voiceless", said he.

She often had a tempestuous relation with the Pakistani state.

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Her fight to defend people accused of blasphemy, victims of honour killing and those who went missing from restive Balochistan province and other parts of the country had won her admirers and enemies in great numbers.

"She was and will remain an inspiration".

In the photo above, she is seen addressing a protest rally in 2009 against the public flogging of a veiled woman.

In 2014 Ms Jahangir told AFP news agency she had seen changes in the perception of human rights in Pakistan.

She worked closely with her sister Hina Jilani on many of her endeavours.

Nandita said Asma's death was a massive loss to the neighbouring country.

After obtaining LLB degree from the Punjab University in 1978, she started her career as an advocate at high and Supreme courts. Her courage to speak truth to power was unprecedented and exemplary.

"Heartbroken that we lost Asma Jahangir - a saviour of democracy and human rights".

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