Germany paid tribute to Pakistani human rights activist and campaigner Asma Jahangir, who died in Lahore on 11 February 2018.
Federal Government Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler said in a statement 12 February: “We mourn the loss of Asma Jahangir. The lawyer born in 1952 was Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activist. Since the 1980s, she had worked tirelessly to promote democracy and human rights in her country, Pakistan. She co-founded the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, which is well known throughout the country.
“As a leading representative of the Lawyers’ Movement, she worked with tremendous courage for the rule of law and democratisation. Asma Jahangir also earned great respect on the international stage, for example, in her capacity as United Nations Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. Asma Jahangir passed away on 11 February 2018 aged 66 in Lahore. Her death is a great loss to Pakistan and the human rights movement. She was one of its leading figures! We will sorely miss her.”
Faced with the US-led conflicts in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, Pakistan has gradually receded from public accountability, governance and the rule of law, despite brave and hazardous efforts by activists like Jahangir and other independent lawyers, media and politicians. There were emotional scenes at her funeral.