LAHORE - One year on, the blow of losing Asma Jahangir has not lessened but for the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), which she co-founded in 1987, this loss has translated into a renewed determination to carry her legacy forward. 

Asma Jahangir died on 11 February 2017 due to cardiac arrest. The Asma Jahangir Legal Foundation will pay tribute to human rights defender in a ceremony to be held on Monday (today).

In a statement issued on Sunday, HRCP said, “Today, more than ever, the human rights movement in Pakistan needs a collective conscience.

 Undoubtedly, had Asma Jahangir been with us today, she would have continued to speak up against curbs on the freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and freedom of expression. She would have demanded accountability for extrajudicial killings and enforced disappearances.

She would have defended the vulnerable and marginalised – women, children, peasants and workers, bonded labour, religious and ethnic minorities, and the transgender community.

“She would have criticised any electoral mismanagement and judicial hyper-activism, but defended the need for democracy and an independent judiciary. And in so doing, she would be speaking for all those who believe in the inalienability of fundamental rights and freedoms.

“Over the last year, HRCP has carried this work forward despite the vacuum left by Ms Jahangir. Her imprint remains on the institution she co-founded and the numerous human rights workers she trained.

HRCP’s governing body and its staff across the country is committed to continuing Asma Jahangir’s work, and will always remember her spirit and steel. As she herself once quipped, ‘Human rights is not a job, it is a way of life.’ For HRCP, this still holds true.”