Aitzaz Hasan

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Aitzaz Hasan Bangash
اعتزاز حسن بنګش
Bornc. 1998
Died(2014-01-06)January 6, 2014 (aged 15)
Hangu, Pakistan
NationalityPakistani
OccupationStudent
Known forPrevented suicide bomber from carrying out a terrorist attack at Government High school Ibrahim Zai[1]
RelativesMujahid Ali Bangash (father)
AwardsSitara-e-Shujaat (posthumous)

Aitzaz Hasan Bangash[a] (Pashto: اعتزاز حسن بنګش‎ c. 1998 – 6 January 2014) was a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa-born Pakistani schoolboy who died on 6 January 2014 while preventing a suicide bomber from entering the school at Hangu village. More than 2,000 students were attending classes at the time of the incident. The institute was later renamed to Aitzaz Hasan Shaheed High School. His death anniversary is observed by Pakistan on 6 January.[2][1][3] His life is covered by a biographical film Salute.

Aitzaz's action for saving his classmates captured the hearts of Pakistan, and he was hailed as a Shahid (martyr) and National hero.[4] Later, the Government of Pakistan awarded him Sitara-e-Shujaat (Star of Bravery) posthumously.[5][1][6] He was named as the Herald's Person of the Year for 2014.[7]

Life[edit]

Aitzaz Hasan's father is Mujahid Ali,[8] who was in the United Arab Emirates at the time of the attack. It was typical for men in this impoverished region to go abroad, including the Gulf region, to provide for their families.[4][9] His other family included his mother, brother and two sisters. Aitzaz Hasan was a 9th grader at the Ibrahim Zai High School. Hasan's cousin Mudassir Bangash described him as an accomplished student who excelled in all extracurricular activities.[10]

The area where Aitzaz Hasan lived is home to many Shi'ite Muslims, a number of whom have been killed by Taliban. The teenager was known for openly criticizing armed radical Sunni groups.[8][11]

Death[edit]

On 6 January 2014, Aitzaz was outside the school gate of Government High School, Ibrahimzai, in Hangu, with two other schoolmates. Aitzaz had not been allowed to attend morning assembly due to his tardiness that day. Allegedly, at this time a 20-to-25-year-old man approached the gate and stated he was there to "take admission". One of the students noticed a detonator on the man's vest, whereupon Aitzaz's schoolmates ran inside while Aitzaz confronted the suicide bomber, who then detonated his vest.[9]

According to other accounts, Aitzaz was on his way to school when he spotted a suspicious person. When Aitzaz tried to stop him, he started walking faster towards the school. In an attempt to stop the bomber, Aitzaz threw a stone which failed to hit him. Then Aitzaz ran towards the person and grabbed him, prompting the suicide bomber to detonate his explosive-laden vest.[12][13]

Aitzaz died at the scene.[10] No other students were harmed. Aitzaz's act thus saved the lives of hundreds of students.[1]

Aftermath[edit]

Aitzaz's father said that his son made a sacrifice to save the lives of others: "My son made his mother cry but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children."[11] Scores of people attended his funeral to pay their respects. A floral wreath was laid on the grave of Aitzaz Hasan on behalf of the Pakistani Army chief.[14] Aitzaz's story led to an outpouring of emotion on television and on social media, where the hashtag #onemillionaitzazs trended on Twitter.[15] A Facebook page has been set up in tribute to his act.[8]

The group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack.[12]

The Minister for Information in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Shah Farman, said that Aitzaz was a "real hero and true face of the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa".[16]

Pakistani Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif said that Aitzaz Hasan is "a national hero, who has sacrificed his today for our tomorrow."[17][18]

Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani teenager education activist and winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, described Aitzaz as "brave and courageous" and said "his bravery must never be forgotten". She pledged to donate £5,000 to Hasan's family.[11]

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F), led by Fazal-ur-Rehman (politician) described Aitzaz as a "Mujahid", and said "he is symbol of resistance against terrorism".[19]

On 12 January, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson Imran Khan announced the setting up of a trust fund for Aitzaz Hassan's family. He also said that he will establish an Aitizaz Hasan Fund.[citation needed] On 14 January, the provincial governmental representatives announced a Rs 5 million package for the family of the teen and renamed his school as the "Aitzaz Hasan Shaheed High School".[20]

In 2016, a film named Salute was released to tribute him.[21]

A hostel was constructed at College of EME named after him.

Awards and honors[edit]

Many people demanded that the Nishan-e-Haider, or a similar award, be awarded to Aitzaz Hasan posthumously. The office of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif then recommended President Mamnoon Husain to confer Aitzaz Hasan with the high civil award Sitara-e-Shujaat (Star of Bravery).[1] The award was received by Hasan's family on 23 March during the Pakistan's national day.

On 12 January, the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) bestowed a global bravery award on Hasan.[22]

Aitzaz was named as Herald's Person of the year 2014. Herald's annual Person of the Year project sets out to recognize those individuals in Pakistan who had a profound influence on the news and who embodied, for good or ill, what was important about the year.[7] Hasan, whose sacrifice attained further poignancy after the December 16 attack on Peshawar's Army Public School, emerged as the winner in a three-way voting process that included online voting, postal ballots and input from a panel of 10 eminent Pakistanis. In Herald's upcoming annual issue, Yousafzai – Herald's Person of the Year for 2014 – pays tribute to Hasan, writing: "Our country is blessed with brave people. The story of Aitzaz Hasan reflects their reliance, courage and bravery."[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Also spelled as Aitizaz and Aitezaz

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Aitzaz Hasan to be awarded Sitara-e-Shujjat". Newsweek Pakistan. 11 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Death anniversary of 'Brave Heart' Aitzaz Hasan being observed today – Aaj News".
  3. ^ "PM announces Sitara-e-Shujaat for Hangu student Aitzaz Hasan". Asia News. 10 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Teenager dies trying to stop suicide bomber at his school in Pakistan". TheJournal.ie. 9 January 2014.
  5. ^ "Death anniversary of Aitzaz Hasan being observed today". 6 January 2020.
  6. ^ "Aitzaz Hasan: Pakistan 'hero' recommended for award". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 January 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Herald's Person of the Year: Aitzaz Hasan". Dawn News.
  8. ^ a b c Al Jazeera and wire services. "'Heroic' Pakistani teen dies foiling suicide attack". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 11 January 2014.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ a b Correspondent (9 January 2014). "Saving lives: A teenager's sacrifice for hundreds of mothers". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Schoolboy, 14, hailed a hero after sacrificing his own life to save classmates from Pakistan suicide bomber". Daily Mail. 9 January 2014.
  11. ^ a b c "Hero teenager dies chasing suicide bomber away from his school in Pakistan". Mirror. 10 January 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Pakistan teen dies stopping suicide bomber". Al Jazeera. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  13. ^ "Whole nation proud of Hangu hero: COAS". The Nation. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Sheet laid on Aitzaz Hussain's grave on COAS behalf". The Frontier Post. 11 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014.
  15. ^ Saqib, Nasir (9 January 2014). "Young defender: Public demands Nishaan-e-Haider for Aitizaz". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  16. ^ "Aitzaz Hasan: Pakistan 'hero' recommended for award". BBC News. 10 January 2014.
  17. ^ "Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif hailed Aitzaz Hasan as a national hero". Khybernews.tv. 11 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
  18. ^ "Martyr for the nation: Army chief salutes valour of Hangu teenager". The Express Tribune. 12 January 2014.
  19. ^ "Aitzaz Hasan: 15-yr-old gave his life tackling a bomber, saved 2000 schoolmates". Dunya News. 8 January 2014.
  20. ^ "Hangu school named after student hero Aitzaz Hasan". The News. 14 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Biopic 'Salute' to pay homage to Aitzaz Hassan". DAWN Images. Anum Rehman. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  22. ^ "Aitizaz Hasan: Imran 'deeply disappointed' at K-P govt's lack of response". The Express Tribune. 12 January 2014.