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Asma Jahangir – The Humanity Advocate

Asma Jilani Jahangir commonly known as Asma Jahangir was a famous Pakistani lawyer and human rights, activist.She was the international figure of human rights and women empowerment.

Born to a Malik Ghulam Jilani, Asma Jahangir received her early education from convent school of Jesus and then she went to Kinnard college for women their he received a degree in arts.Asma Jahangir got her LLB degree from Punjab University.She practised law in Lahore high court in 1980 and then in Supreme court of Pakistan.In 1983 she was imprisoned for democracy movement against the Zia-ul-Haq regime.She also remained vice chairman of Defence for Children International till 1988 and then returned back to Pakistan.Asma Jahangir

In 1987 she founded along with her companions Human Rights Commision of Pakistan and remained secretary general till 1993 and then became its chairperson. In November 2007 she was imprisoned for the lawyer movement in which she actively took part against the Government.Asma Jahangir also founded a law firm to support those who cant afford to defend their case free of cost.Asma Jahangir also fought against child labour internationally and domestically.

She also holds an honorary degree from University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, Queens University, Canada, Simon Fraser University, Canada and Cornell University United States of America.

“We never learnt the right lessons. We never went to the root of the problem. Once you start politicising religion, you play with fire and you get burnt as well.”


Asma Jahangir chaired the South Asia Forum of Human Rights. She remained vice-president of the international federation of human rights.Asma Jahangir is also the first women to serve as president of Supreme Court Bar Association.

She was awarded an Officier de la Légion d’honneur by France for his contribution towards the noble cause of serving humanity.

Asma Jahangir also remained as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and served in Sri-lanka in the fact-finding mission on Israeli settlements.Asma Jahangir received various awards internationally and nationally.

Right Livelihood Award 2014

Freedom Award 2010

Hilal-i-Imtiaz  2010

Sitara-i-Imtiaz 1995

Ramon Magsaysay Award 1995

Asma Jahangir also wrote some books Divine Sanction The Hudood Ordinance and Children of a Lesser God. One of her major publications is titled “Whither are We!”.

On 11th of February, she died due to cardiac arrest in Lahore.


Author : Iftikhar Younis Peerzada

Write to us: @ Pakistani Stories




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