Pakistan condoles human rights defender IA Rehman’s passing
Vocal human rights defender and senior journalist Ibn-e-Abdul Rehman, popularly known as IA Rehman, passed away at the age of 90 in Lahore on Monday.
According to his family, Rehman was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.
Born in Haryana in 1930, Rehman began his career as a journalist and later joined the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) as its director and later as secretary general.
Considered a human rights stalwart, also a regular columnist, Rehman kept highlighting sensitive issues to the best of his abilities till his last breath.
He was a vocal supporter of the right to freedom of expression and speech, and spoke of the supremacy of the Constitution at all times.
Condolences began pouring in from every corner, with human rights activists, politicians and many other prominent figures remembering Rehman for his loyalty to and steadfastness for human rights issues.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that “Pakistan has lost a true icon today with the passing of the intellectual.”
“A staunch advocate and activist for human rights and an intellectual, IA Rehman sahib leaves behind a rich legacy that speaks of tolerance, inclusion, equality and dignity,” he expressed in a Twitter post.
Pakistan has lost a true icon today with the passing of I.A. Rehman. A staunch advocate and activist for Human Rights and an intellectual, I.A Rehman sahib leaves behind a rich legacy that speaks of tolerance, inclusion, equality and dignity.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) April 12, 2021
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said IA Rehman always favoured the supremacy and rule of democracy.
* مرحوم آئی اے رحمان نے ہمیشہ جمہوریت کے استحکام اور اقدار کی بات کی، وزیراعلیٰ سندھ
* آئی اے رحمان تاریخ میں ہمیشہ زندہ رہےگا ، وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ
— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) April 12, 2021
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) senator Sherry Rehman said, “He was an icon of integrity, standing steadfast for every single fundamental right,every single democratic value in the worst of times.”
Shocked and immeasurably saddened to hear of IA Rehman’s passing from Covid! He was an icon of integrity, standing steadfast for every single fundamental right,every single democratic value in the worst of times. Pakistan will not be the same without him. May be rest in peace. 🙏
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 12, 2021
Former Awami National Party (ANP) leader Bushra Gohar also expressed remorse on the columnist’s demise.
Former president and PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari said that IA Rehman’s services for human rights and freedom of expression were unforgettable.
“With the demise of IA Rehman, a voice that would always be raised in favour of human rights has gone silent,” Zardari remarked.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb praised the columnist’s brave stances, saying his was a strong voice against dictatorship and fascist elements.
Economic Advisory Council member Abid Qaiyum Suleri said, “Pakistan has lost a legend.”
Journalist Nasim Zehra stated that the intellectual was in the vanguard of Pakistan’s democratic struggle.
Pakistan’s iconic #IARehman sahib passes away.Innalilahe wa innaelehe rajioon.He was in the vanguard of Pakistan’s democratic struggle, always in the forefront of human rights struggle for Pakistan’s weak& excluded…he was the best of Allah’s Creation… to Him We Shall Return
— Nasim Zehra (@NasimZehra) April 12, 2021
Several other people, from all walks of life, took to Twitter to express their grief on his demise.
انالله واناإليه راجعون
There are rare examples where people have struggled for the rights of others, rights of underprivileged communities through out their lives. IA Rehman was one such example.
What a career! What a life! What a struggle.
Goodbye IA Rehman Sahab. Rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/xPlCPfAsYF
— Ahmad Noorani (@Ahmad_Noorani) April 12, 2021
Terrible news. I. A. Rehman -Pakistan’s leading human rights defender, veteran journalist and public intellectual -has passed away. He was a mentor to countless rights activists, journalists & civil society leaders. It would be difficult to fill this void.#RIP Rehman Saheb! pic.twitter.com/7bVwI9dIT1
— Raza Ahmad Rumi (@Razarumi) April 12, 2021