Journalist and human rights advocate Ibn Abdur Rehman, known as I.A. Rehman, passed away in Lahore at the age of 90 on Monday morning.
Several journalists and other public figures took to Twitter to remember the human rights defender, who was also a regular columnist for Dawn.
Rehman started working at a young age, according to human rights activist and former chairperson of the HRCP Zohra Yusuf. She told Images that Rehman worked as editor of the Pakistan Times before joining the HRCP in the early 90s, first as director and later as secretary-general.
We always looked to him for guidance and though he was not as active in the past few years, he was always available for help, she said. “He will be deeply missed. He was a rare kind of individual, not just because of his professional capabilities but as a human being.”
Paying tribute to one of Pakistan’s most renowned intellectuals, Senator Sherry Rehman called him an icon of integrity, “standing steadfast for every single fundamental right, every single democratic value in the worst of times”.
Salman Sufi, founder of the Salman Sufi Foundation, remembered him as “a voice of reason and intellect who never shied away from stating facts”.
Academic Adil Najam thanked him for his wisdom.
ANP leader Bushra Gohar said it was a very sad day for human rights activists in the country.
Senator Sehar Kamran called Rehman a “legendary human rights icon, a courageous voice, [and] a veteran journalist”.
Abid Qaiyum Suleri, a member of the Economic Advisory Council, said Pakistan has lost a legend.
Journalist Nasim Zehra said Rehman was “in the vanguard of Pakistan’s democratic struggle”.
Journalist Raza Rumi said Rehman was a mentor to countless rights activist, journalists and civil society leaders.
Activist Gulalai Ismail said she can’t imagine a Pakistan without him.
Journalist Ahmed Noorani said 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.”
Jehan Ara, president of P@SHA, said Rehman stood up for all those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. “We owe you a debt of gratitude,” she wrote.