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Monday Feb 12 2018
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Nawaz Sharif, Maryam visit Asma Jahangir’s residence

LAHORE: Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam visited the residence of the late human rights activist Asma Jahangir in Lahore on Monday.

Expressing grief at the untimely demise of the rights icon, the PML-N leaders offered condolences to the bereaved family and remembered her contributions to the cause of humanity in golden words.

Speaking to Geo News, Nawaz paid tribute to Jahangir’s lifelong struggle for democracy and rule of law, and prayed for her soul.

“She was not only a prominent lawyer, she was a kind-hearted human who cared for the poor and marginalised, she never left the poor in hard times. She always struggled for democracy and supremacy of law,” said the former premier.

“May Allah raise her status [in the afterlife],” he prayed.

PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz termed Jahangir’s death “a huge loss for democracy, human rights and humanity overall.”

“Asma Jahangir was a voice for the poor and marginalised sections of the society. Every human who has a heart should advance her cause, and become a voice for the [voiceless],” Maryam told Geo News.

She remembered that Jahangir always stood for truth. “Speaking truth should not be labelled as criticism. There should be courage to speak the truth.”

Jahangir, who co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and came to be known as a fearless voice of the marginalised sections of the society, passed away on Sunday after suffering a cardiac arrest. She was 66.

She was known for speaking against human rights violations and her courageous stand against the military rule of General Zia-ul-Haq.

She was also a vocal opponent of judicial overreach and would often confront the superior judiciary when it would extend its jurisdiction in her opinion.

Jahangir received several awards and accolades during her life, including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award, 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2010 and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights in 2010 and Officier de la Légion d'honneur in 2014 – France’s highest award.

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