LAHORE - Rasm-i-Qul of veteran human rights activist and eminent lawyer Asma Jahangir was held at her residence here on Wednesday.

Syed Haider Farooq Maududi, son of famous religious scholar Abul A’ala Maududi, offered prayers for the departed soul, which was attended by politicians, judges, lawyers, activists, celebrities and members of the society and ordinary citizens.

National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former Chief Justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, opposition leader in Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, former governor of State Bank of Pakistan Shahid Kardar, former PCB chairman Shahryar Khan, renowned journalists I.A. Rehman and Hussain Naqi, architect Nayyar Ali Dada and Usman Pirzada prayed were prominent among those in attendance.

The participants paid her tribute for her lifelong struggle for rights of the poor and marginalized segments of the society. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to Asma for her services for rule of law and supremacy of the constitution in the country. He said that Asma made efforts for protection of rights of the women and other vulnerable communities. He said she also played important role in the movement for independent judiciary. Asma strived all her life for protection of human rights and her services in the field of law and human rights will be remembered for long, he said.

Asma died of cardiac arrest on Sunday at the age of 66. According to the family, she was talking over the phone after lunch at home when the cell phone fell down from her hands. Her driver noticed it and took her along with her granddaughter to Hameed Latif Hospital where doctors found that she had already expired.

The death of the pro-democracy activist and women rights defender, who was also a cancer patient, was seen as a major blow to those struggling for protection of human rights.

The deceased is survived by son Jeelani Jahangir and daughters Munizae Jahangir and Suleema Jahangir.

“The way she lived is not just the family’s loss; it is loss of all the voiceless,” said her sister Hina Jilani, who herself is a prominent rights activist and lawyer.

Asma was also co-founder and chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, besides being the UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran since 2016.

She along with her sister Hina set up first legal aid cell for women in Pakistan. In 2014, she received France’s highest civilian award and Sweden’s Right Livelihood Award for her decades of rights work.

Asma was imprisoned in 1983 for her work with the Movement to Restore Democracy during of General Ziaul Haq’s military rule.

She was also placed under house arrest in 2007 for her part in a lawyers’ protest movement that eventually led to general-president Pervez Musharraf’s stepping down from power and restoration of deposed judges of superior courts.