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`Asma Jahangir was the voice of the voiceless`

By Gohar Ali Khan 2018-05-08
HYDERABAD: Speakers at a programme paid homage to well-known lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir describing her personality as iconoclastic, towering and versatile.

They said she always fought for the supremacy and rule of law, sustainable democracy and speedy justice without any discrimination so that all people could heave a sigh of relief in the country.

They were speaking at the launching ceremony of a book titled Our Asma Jahangir, a compilation of Sindhi, English and Urdu essays, compiled and edited by prominent writer and civil society activist Zulfiqar Halepoto. The event was organised by the Centre of Social Change and Pakistan Peace Coalition (PPC) held at a local hotel here on Monday.

Veteran journalist and human right activist LA. Rehman said Asma Jahangir was an embodiment of struggle for workers, growers, the rule of law, promotion of justice and democ-racy in the country. He said she had a tremendous sense of humour.

`I worked with her for a long time and she had a quality to perceive and reply promptly.` He said she treated all human beings equally regardless of religion, sect and colour.

He said that although some people disagreed with her and made her controversial, this did not discourage her, even when she faced death threats.

She fought for the rights of women and bonded labour, and challenged those who usurped the rights of people without any fear.

`This is a bool( of primary resource and information about Asma and it has historical record of her writings, he said.

Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler) head and labour activist Karamat Ali said the credit went to her (Asma) as bonded and child labour laws were made because of her continuous struggle in this respect.

He said she rendered matchless services for law and democracy. He said this book was a great contribution towards human rights, social justiceetc.

MPA and writer Mehtab Akbar Rashdi started her speech with a beautiful Urdu couplet and explained the life of Asma through it. `She was a voice of voiceless people and it is quite difficult to believe that she is no more in the world,` she said.

Scholar Dr Fauzia Saeed said I.A.

Rehman and Asma Jahangir were her mentors who taught her to speak. She said Asma passed an incredible life as she braved tough times. She was a towering and iconoclastic figure in this society, she said.

Compiler of the book Zulfiqar Halepoto said she was an inspiration for the next generation who were unaware of her works and services towards the nation, especially those poor and needy people who were deprived of fundamental rights.

Highlighting the book, he said it covered articles in English, Sindhi and Urdu and it was like a document which would apprise youths of works of the great lady.

Others who also spoke included Mohammad Tahseen, Dr Ashothama LohanaandJaved Soz.