HANGU - In order to salute bravery of Aitzaz Hassan, a student who sacrificed his life while stopping a suicide bomber from attacking a school, floral wreaths were laid on his grave on behalf of the chief of army staff (COAS), the Peshawar corps commander and the Frontier Corps (FC) inspector general here on Saturday.
In this connection, army and FC contingents saluted the grave of Aitzaz at his native village Ibrahimzai in district Hangu. Brig Nadeem Zaki Manj, Colonel Nadeem Anwar of ISPR and Hangu Commanding Office Colonel Kamran, on behalf of Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, Peshawar Corps Commander Lt-Gen Khalid Rabbani and Frontier Corps (FC) Inspector General Maj-Gen Ghayur Mahmood, respectively, laid floral wreaths on the grave of brave Aitzaz.
Brig Nadeem Zaki Manj also conveyed rich tributes on behalf of the COAS to the bereaved family on the bravery and sacrifice of Aitzaz. The COAS said the nation was proud of this young hero for setting a sterling example of bravery and sacrifice at the young age of 15 years and sacrificing his today for the nation’s better tomorrow. Amid tight security arrangements, his schoolmates, friends, locals and family members were also present on the occasion.
The army and FC officials also visited the residence of Aitzaz and met his father to offer condolences. His father appreciated and thanked the army and FC for appreciation. Quran khwani was also held for the departed soul of brave Aitzaz.
Later, while talking to media persons, Aitzaz's father said his family had not been contacted by any government official so far.
It is worth mentioning here that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday recommended Sitara-e-Shujaat for Aitzaz and his recommendation was forwarded to President Mamnoon Hussain.
Aitzaz, a student of class IX, sacrificed his life on January 6 when he prevented a suicide bomber from entering his school during the morning assembly. Aitzaz’s brave act saved the lives of many students. The brave student 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. Aitzaz’s bravery has been widely praised.
AFP adds: Schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban to champion girls' rights to education, paid tribute to a teenager killed stopping a suicide bomber from attacking a school.
Aitzaz Hassan, 15, a student in Hangu district, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has become a national hero after he tackled the bomber who had come to attack his school on Monday, at a time when hundreds of students were inside.
Hassan died in hospital after the bomber blew himself up at the school gates. No one else was wounded or killed in the incident.
Malala described him as "brave and courageous".
"In sacrificing his own life, Aitzaz protected hundreds of innocent young students from being killed," she said in a statement.
"I wish that in giving his own life he helps to bring peace to my people and my country," she said.
Malala, who was last year nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, offered condolences to his family and called for the government to award Hassan its "highest national award". "His bravery must never be forgotten," she said.
Nasir Khan Durrani, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief of police, has written to the provincial chief minister recommending Hassan for a posthumous award, a police statement issued late Thursday said. "The suicide bomber tried to enter the school where hundreds of students were studying. Aitzaz Hassan sacrificed his life and stopped the bomber with bravery and courage," the police statement said.
"He saved the lives of hundreds of innocent students with his extreme valour and bravery."