NEW YORK: Rich tributes were paid to Asma Jahangir — the late human rights lawyer who waged a protracted struggle for the rights of the downtrodden, particularly women — at the Asia Society in New York on Sunday.
“She was an unwavering ally and exponent of open society values and principles of human dignity, equality and human rights,” said Anthony Richter from the Open Society Foundation.
The memorial highlighted Ms Jahangir’s many contributions to the United Nations, where she served as UN Special Rapporteur on numerous occasions.
Journalist Ahmed Rashid informed the audience about the process of establishing the Asma Jahangir Foundation.
He said it would function to maintain the funding and support for major projects Ms Jahangir had left as her legacy. “She has played a remarkable role in Pakistan’s civil society. There’s nobody to touch her as to the extent that the organisations and legacies that she has left behind.”
Munizae Jahangir, Ms Jahangir’s daughter, spoke briefly about her mother’s life and achievements.
Other speakers included Samina Ahmed, South Asia Project Director of International Crisis Group; Philip Alston, New York University Law School and UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights; Steve Coll from Columbia Journalism School; Lyse Doucet, BBC’s chief international correspondent; Munizae Jahangir, journalist and documentary filmmaker; Ayesha Jalal, director of Centre for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, Tufts University; Hina Jilani, co-founder of AGHS Legal Aid Cell; and Ahmed Rashid.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2018