Demands mounting to give Asma Jehangir state funeral

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Right Livelihood Award 2014 Stockholm 12/ 2014 Photo: Wolfgang Schmidt

Lawyers, activists, politicians, leaders and journalists are increasingly demanding that the recently deceased human rights lawyer, Asma Jehangir, be given a full state funeral.
The funeral for Asma Jehangir is being planned to be held on February 13 at Lahore’s Gadaffi stadium where a large number of prominent personalities along with her many admirers are expected to pay their last respects.
The initial demand for a state funeral came from Chief Minister Sindh, Murad Ali Shah, who wrote a letter to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi asking that Miss Jehangir be given a state funeral and the Sindh Government be allowed to fly its flags at half mast.

“I am writing to you to consider giving Miss Asma Jehangir a state funeral, honouring her decades of selfless service to the nation” read the Chief Minister’s letter.
Murad Ali Shah’s party supremo Bilawal Bhutto has also expressed his agreement with the idea, also tweeting his desire to see Asma Jehangir receive a state funeral.

The father of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yusafzai, Ziaudin Yusafzai, has also said that if anyone deserves a state funeral it is Asma Jehangir for her unwavering resolve.
“An icon of human rights, a great champion of democracy, the loudest voice of the voiceless. The most courageous Asma Jehangir is no more among us. Deserves love from every Pakistani, and state funeral from the Government of Pakistan” he said in a tweet.

“By giving state funeral to Asma Jehangir, the government has a rare opportunity to give a loud & clear message to the world that Pakistan is a democracy that believes in human rights, inclusiveness & pluralism, and it stands against bigotry and extremism” he went on to add.

A large number of people from the legal fraternity as well as journalists and other prominent persons have also demanded that Asma Jehangir’s services be recognised in the form of a state funeral.
While no such decision has been made, and neither is it expected to be so late, it is worth mentioning that there have been three state funerals in recent years starting with those of philanthropists Abdul Sattar Edhi, Ruth Pafu and Air Marshall Asghar Khan.

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