LAHORE: The funeral prayers for leading human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir were offered at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Tuesday.
A number of top government officials, prominent members of the legal fraternity, celebrities, activists, and ordinary citizens, alongside members of her family, attended the funeral prayers which were led by Farooq Maududi.
Police form a protective cordon around Asma Jahangir’s funeral procession as mourners make their way to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium, where her funeral prayers was held.
Later, the funeral procession for Jahangir left for Bedian Road where the deceased lawyer was laid to rest in her family’s farmhouse.
Jahangir, 66, passed away on Sunday afternoon in Lahore after suffering a cardiac arrest.
She is survived by her husband, two daughters and a son.
Acknowledging Jahangir’s services for the protection of human rights, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Tuesday called the activist a “towering and fearless personality”.
During a case hearing, Justice Nisar said any lawyer that wishes to attend Jahangir’s funeral was free to go. He announced that he, too, would go to offer his condolences later.
Jahangir, 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.
Jahangir, who was born in January 1952, received a bachelor’s degree from Kinnaird College and an LLB from Punjab University. She was called to the Lahore High Court in 1980 and to the Supreme Court in 1982. She later went on to become the first woman to serve as president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
She became a pro-democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which agitated against military dictator Ziaul Haq’s regime.
She was also active in the 2007 Lawyers’ Movement, for which she was put under house arrest. She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and the Women’s Action Forum.
She received several awards, including a Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010 and a Sitara-i-Imtiaz. She was also awarded a Unesco/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights and an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France.
Messages of condolences from members of the legal community, politicians as well as media figures had poured in soon after her sudden demise.
The Pakistan Bar Council had announced three days of mourning following the day of her death.