Aitzaz Hasan: Pakistan 'hero' recommended for award

Aitzaz Hasan Aitzaz Hasan was described as a brave and good student

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has recommended a bravery award for a teenager killed when tackling a suicide bomber who targeted his school.

Aitzaz Hasan, 15, is being hailed as a hero for confronting the attacker, who then detonated his vest.

The Sitara-e-Shujjat award can only be awarded once Pakistan's president has approved it.

The incident on Monday prompted an outpouring of praise and gratitude across Pakistan.

"Shaheed Aitizaz's brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism," a statement from the prime minister's office said.

The Minister for Information in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province Shah Farman, said on Thursday that Aitzaz was a "real hero and true face of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa".

Local authorities have also said they will offer compensation for Aitzaz's family.

'Valiant act'

The incident took place on Monday in Ibrahimzai, a Shia-dominated region of Hangu, in north-western Pakistan. There were almost 2,000 students in attendance at the time of the attack, and Aitzaz is being credited with saving hundreds of lives.

Despite the pleas of his fellow students, he decided to confront and capture the bomber who was approaching the school, his cousin told the BBC's Aleem Maqbool.

Pakistani security personnel examine the site of a suicide bombing in the Ibrahimzai area of Hangu district on January 6, 2014. There were said to be about 2,000 students at Aitzaz's school at the time of the attack

"He told them 'I'm going to stop him. He is going to school to kill my friends'. He wanted to capture this suicide bomber. He wanted to stop [him]. Meanwhile the suicide bomber blasted himself which resulted in the death of my cousin," Mudassar Hassan Bangish said.

His family insist that rather than focus on the sorrow brought about by his death, they want to focus on their pride in his actions.

"He is a shahid [martyr]. A shahid of his whole nation," he said.

On Twitter, users have been paying tribute to Aitzaz using the hashtags #onemillionaitzaz and #AitzazBraveheart echoing the language used online around figures such as Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai and the Delhi rape victim, whose death galvanised Indian public opinion and prompted changes in rape laws there.

Hangu is close to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions, which have a strong Taliban and al-Qaeda presence and the area is also known for sectarian violence against Shia Muslims.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    what a brave brave kid, his poor family can hold their heads high. when i think of all the kids here in the uk, i just can't see it happening here.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    Why is this seemingly relevant enough to warrant a HYS?

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    Chauhdary Aslam CID Police Officer and Atizaz showed to Pak Govt. that We as a Nation are strong against Terrorists, we are ready to fight with them and can defeat them. Pakistani Nation is giving their blood (Young / Old) against Terrorists and our Morale is high. But Pakistani Govt., Political & Religious Parties are are feeling safe under TTP Umbrella

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    Pakistan has an Order of Bravery (Nishan-i-Shujaat) which is awarded for military and civilian acts of courage under circumstances of danger to oneself other than in combat. (Source: )

    This would seem an appropriate award.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    This shows there will be a good person all the time.We have to respect his bravery.No matter award is no use to him but parents should be respected and awarded now..

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    It was heroic act, this brave boy showed the meaning of the word 'hero'. RIP.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    27. Raja

    Which is why Raja, and I agree with you, I referred to these brave people as a examples of our fight against all political and religious extremism. The elephant in the room, as Ambrosia pointed out, is US religious, political and economic extremism.

    Much of Islamic extremism is a creation of the west. That boy died because of our regional interference going back to the 19th. Century.

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Once in a century a hero is born. Many hate Pakistan labelling it a rogue nation given to dual standards. Pak has a brave girl Malala who withstood Taliban bullets and now Aitzaz Hassan - a teenager who sacrificed his life overpowering the suicide-bomber so hundred others may live. He is being honoured by Pak with a bravery award. International recognition would be more befitting this Shaheed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    The word hero is bandied about but Aitzaz is a true hero-who students and teachers around the world can look to for inspiration. I will do so in class on Monday and will be interested in the class response. We take our freedom for granted whereas in Pakistan and other countries there are those who would stop education children-which only confirms that educated people scare them-I wonder why...?

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    RIP brother, Love you. Its such a shame the western media are using your story as propaganda. Its a shame that we haven't heard about the 4 year old boy who has just been shot dead by US soldiers. Its a shame that if you had tried to stop a US drone from blowing your school up you would have been labeled a terrorist.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    sodapop, if you want to hear what muslims think, why don't you ask the ones you meet? You are hardly going to get a full discussion on here.

    Aitzaz Hassan is showing us Pakistanis, that we need not fear the tribal extremists, the courage of Aitzaz is much greater than the courage of an indoctrinated suicide bomber.

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    A boy bravely stood up to Islamic fundamentalists.
    Balance and democracy asks, if, say, US fundamentalism was having a powerful influence on us, might that not be relevant?
    If not the elephant in the room.
    By removing eg. Anton's posts the BBC are making a fool of themselves.
    Elsewhere they allow irrelevant discussions.
    Perhaps they're now among the media outlets basicallly run by the US right.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Perhaps the editor was hoping for a "minors shouldn't be encouraged to take risks" vs "all bravery must be rewarded" debate?

    Good idea, but the "debate" seems rather one-sided.

  • Comment number 23.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    19. Adderboba44

    Where can we publicly protest against BBC editorial bias?

    What this boy has done, along with other's listed below, is to defend our civilisation, through instinctive and / or considered action. We should celebrate them in our battle against all kinds of religious and political extremism.

    BTW few comments here compared with diplomat story opportunity for misogyny and racism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    I'd like to hear what the so called moderate muslims in the UK think about how this 15 yo stood up against a backward,primitive and barbaric ideology that is religious bigotry and intolerance.
    It's their deafening silence that has allowed so called "home grown" terrorists and hate spewing creeps and criminals to masquerade as religious leaders all the while flouting our laws and hospitality. 3,2..

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    So Jo Anton has been deleted for criticising BBC editorial policy again. There are no publicly viewed places to do this.

    The bravery of this boy matches that of Amanda Donnelly-Martin, at Lee Rigby's murder, Malala Yousafzai and, Jo you are right, Salman Rushdie for defending free-speech under a death threat from a fatwa. Such people should receive the highest honours for defending civilisation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    I kind of wish the BBC hadn't opened the HYS on this, not because it isn't newsworthy but because of the obnoxious self-important comments about not being able to comment on other stories. Get over yourselves and show some respect, this teenager did something unbelievably heroic and I think it's important these stories are brought to the public's attention. Bit of human decency and heroism.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    This goes to show what heroism is something that if he had been in our armed forces would have potentially warranted a VC as he put his life in danger to save others which is more than can be said of our sporting heroes" not just going about his usual business an extraordinary act that is in my view definitely worthy of the recommended award.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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