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Mahesh Bhatt, Javed Akhtar and other Bollywood celebs mourn the death of Pakistani activist Asma Jahangir

Personalities including screenwriter-lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi, filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt and Nandita Das took to social media to offer their last tributes to Pakistani activist Asma Jahangir.

bollywood Updated: Feb 11, 2018 19:48 IST
Press Trust of India
Mahesh Bhatt,Javed Akhtar,Asma Jahangir
Asma Jahangir became a democracy activist and was jailed in 1983 for participating in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy, which rallied against military dictator Zia-ul-Haq’s regime(Twitter/AliZafar)

The Indian film industry mourned the death of Pakistan’s renowned human rights lawyer and social activist, Asma Jahangir. An outspoken critic of the country’s powerful military establishment, Asma, 66, passed away in Lahore due to cardiac arrest.

Personalities including screenwriter-lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Shabana Azmi, filmmakers Mahesh Bhatt and Nandita Das took to social media to offer their last tributes to the fearless activist.

Akhtar called Asma “undoubtedly the bravest and the most resilient fighter for human rights”. “(She) had the courage to face the wrath of the dictators and the fury of the fundamentalist Mulla has passed away. It is the loss of the whole subcontinent,” he wrote.

Azmi remembered her friend, whom she deeply respected for her integrity and courage. “Just heard the devastating news that Asma Jehangir passed away... Pakistan has lost its most fearless crusader and the human rights movement its tallest leader. Our deepest condolences to the family,” she wrote.

Nandita said Asma’s death was a massive loss to the neighbouring country. “Deeply shocked and saddened to hear of AsmaJahangir. She was a true defender of human rights, democracy and fought till her last breath against authoritarian power, orthodoxy and discrimination. She was and will remain an inspiration. A huge loss. Condolences to all whose lives she touched,” the filmmaker wrote.

Director Mahesh Bhatt called Asma “an extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people”. “An extraordinary woman who fought for ordinary people. Asmaji had the audacity and the courage to fight for a fairer world. Thank you for touching our lives,” he added.

Pakistani actors Mahira Khan and Ali Zafar also took to Twitter to remember the human rights champion. “Sad sad day for Pakistan... We say goodbye to a great great artist and a fearless activist. They shall live on through their work, always. #QaziWajid #AsmaJahangir,” Mahira wrote, also mourning the death of TV and radio artist Qazi Wajid.

“Shocking to hear about the passing of this brave woman. Her honesty and sincerity to her cause remains an inspiration for our generation. Was always so full of life. We will miss you ma’am,” Zafar wrote, tagging Asma in his tweet.

Asma was the first woman to serve as the President of Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan.

Her daughter Munizae Jahangir confirmed the news of her death on the microblogging site.

Senior lawyer Adeel Raja said Asma suffered heart attack. “She was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life but couldn’t,” he added.

Born in January 1952 in Lahore, Asma co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She has constantly raised the issue of “missing persons” in Pakistan and calling for grilling of intelligence agencies.

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First Published: Feb 11, 2018 18:16 IST