Threatened throughout her battle by her opponents as she advocated for women and minorities, placed under house arrests, labelled as a traitor, accused of blasphemy, subjected to violence by the police, so much so, she had to send her children abroad for their safety. Yet, she never gave up on what was right.

“Right” meaning “correct” (ethically or politically) and “right” which refers to a person’s due entitlement of a specific practice or possession, are the two words that were given their true interpretation through the works and the entire humanitarian mission of Asma Jahangir.

Asma Jahangir was a beacon of strength and true justice, a superwoman who proved in her lifetime that women can be loud and powerful as well, enough to shake the ground that shelters inequity and repression. In fact, her resilience was such that she prompted the youth, especially young girls/women and the minorities, and woke them up to a realization that each and every person is an individual who must be aware of one’s rights and shall never compromise on it at any cost.

“(In Pakistan) Justice is a rare commodity.”

The mark that she left behind can never be wiped off because Asma Jahangir lives in every voice that shall ever be enunciated in the face of bigotry. She is the pedestal that has fortified a large number of women that are continuing to fight for their rights to-date. She sternly opposed the Hudood Ordinance during General Zia-Ul-Haq’s regime. She defended women like 13-year-old Safia who was falsely accused of fornication, or fought for Saima Sarwa, helping her to divorce her husband. Asma Jahangir managed these cases despite the consistent threats that she received.  She even initiated an all-female law firm in 1980 called AGHS Legal Aid Cell in order to provide “access to justice through free legal representation for the marginalised and persecuted”.

Asma Jahangir is also a heart of every medium that defies the abuse of minority rights or child labour. She vindicated a 14-year-old Christian boy, Salamat Masih, who was accused under the blasphemy law. She founded Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) in 1897, a platform created to vocalize against violation of human rights.

And not to forget, Asma Jahangir is the word of every address defending democracy today, tomorrow and always.

In these dark times, many are likely to be hesitant to stand in averse to exploitation of basic human liberty. One could easily be discouraged by a hindrance or scared stiff by a single threat. But going back to Asma Jahangir’s gallantry, one is imbued with valor and hope, being assured that no one is ever weaker than any form of power or the corrupt, and that it is we, the people, the citizens of a nation who can alter the laws in accordance to what is fair.

“The way [Pakistan’s situation] will improve is not going to be because of the government or the elite leadership, or the political leadership, or the institutions of our country, most of which have actually crumbled. It will be the people of the country themselves who will bring about the change in society because they have had to struggle to fend for themselves at every level. Public opinion is key to the survival of democracy, to educate people about what democracy is all about.”