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Jan-19-2014 14:14printcomments

Aitzaz: Young Boy who Tackled a Suicide Bomber

May your soul rest in eternal peace and may Pakistan see more births of the likes of you Aitzaz Hasan.

Aitzaz Hasan
Aitzaz Hasan

(ISLAMABAD) - ONCE in a while, a story comes along that makes you so proud to be part of the human race. Unless you are an avid reader or ardent follower of world current affairs, the name Aitzaz Hasan may not ring a bell. However, this is one name that should be written next, if not above, to that of Malala Yousafzai in the history of Pakistan.

Malala is a 16-year-old teenage Pakistani school pupil and education activist who on October 9, 2012 was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus.

The assassination attempt sparked a national and international outpouring of support for Malala and made her probably the most famous teenager in the world.

But unlike Malala, who lived to tell her ordeal at the hands of terrorists, Aitzaz will never get that chance.

Nevertheless, his is a story of humbling courage and brevity that should be told over and over in years to come not only in Pakistan but the world over.

Aitzaz is a 15-year-old Pakistani teenager who was killed when he tackled a suicide bomber targeting his school.

The teenager was with friends when he spotted a man wearing a suicide vest approach. Despite the pleas of his fellow students, he decided to confront the bomber. The boy reportedly threw a stone at the man then ran towards him when the bomber detonated the explosives in his vest.

The incident took place on Monday last week 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. Mujahid Ali, Aitzaz’s father, is quoted as saying, “My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.”

One of Aitzaz’s cousin described him as “brave” and a good student. According to the cousin, “He always used to say ‘I am always ready for my country’.”

What a brave young man. The lad showed bravery few ever exhibit. This boy decided in a blink of an eye to act against this cowardly suicide bomber without thinking about his own safety . What a martyr.

Perhaps, down the road this lad may have become a world leader. However, what he did for his school and fellow classmates shows the world that one person, regardless of their age or occupation, can make a difference. A big difference.

It has been said in The Good Book that there is no greater love than that of a man that lays down his life for his friends.

Can’t remember who said it, but the saying rings true here, “The only way evil can prevail is if good people do nothing”. The courageous story of this lad should be a challenge not only to the children of Pakistan but the world at large. This story should be a challenge to us Zambian youths, especially those of us with an entitlement mentality.

35th US President John F. Kennedy in his inaugural speech said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

It appears that the children of Pakistan are the true heroes of the nation whether girls or boys fighting against terrorists or Taliban in the struggle to fight for education and a better future for themselves, their families and the future of their country.

To Aitzaz I say, your bravery is beyond praise! You are one of the best human beings mankind has ever had. Your death is not in vain. All humanity is grateful to you. The world is proud of you young man and I pray your parents take heart and receive heartfelt condolences from strangers like myself for raising such a fine young man.

May your soul rest in eternal peace and may Pakistan see more births of the likes of you Aitzaz Hasan.

The author is a Kitwe based contributor to this forum.




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.