British High Commission announces annual scholarship to honour Asma Jehangir


ISLAMABAD: A new annual scholarship honouring the legacy of famed rights activist Asma Jehangir was announced on Thursday by the British High Commission on Thursday.

This scholarship will be awarded to the best female Chevening candidate each year. Chevening scholarships are awarded to outstanding emerging leaders to pursue a one-year Masters programme at any UK university.

The scholarship programme provides a unique opportunity to future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, to build networks, to experience UK culture, and to form lasting positive relationships with the UK.

In 2017, Chevening sent 63 Pakistanis to universities across the UK – including 23 women. The recipient of the inaugural award will be announced in August when the 2018 Chevening Scholars will be selected.

Announcing the new scholarship, the British High Commissioner Thomas Drew said: “I am delighted to announce that Asma Jehangir’s family has agreed to the creation of a scholarship in her name as part of our prestigious programme. It is particularly appropriate to be able to announce the award, which will each year go to the top female Chevening candidate, on International Women’s Day.  For decades Asma Jehangir was a courageous defender of Pakistan’s most vulnerable citizens. She was also a powerful advocate for the rights of women. This scholarship honours her achievements.”

“We hope that this scholarship inspires future generations of Pakistani women by giving them a platform to realise their potential – helping to realise the great potential of their country,” he said.

Speaking about the announcement, Asma Jehangir’s daughter, Sulema Jehangir said: “Asma believed passionately in the importance of higher education. We welcome the British High Commission’s naming of one of its Chevening Scholarships as a fitting tribute to our mother and her life time’s work.”

Asma Jehangir, one of Pakistan’s most prominent human rights activists, died of a heart attack last month. She was the chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and respected for her outspoken criticism of the country’s militant Islamist groups and her record as an outspoken activist.