Aitzaz[a] Hasan Bangash (Urdu: اعتزاز حسن بنگش, c. 1998 – 6 January 2014) was a Pakistani school boy from Hangu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province who died while preventing a suicide bomber from entering his school of 2,000 students at the village of Hangu, on 6 January 2014.
Aitzaz Hasan Bangash
اعتزاز حسن بنگش
|Known for||Preventing suicide bomber attack at his school, sacrificed his own life to save the lives of hundreds of his peers|
|Relatives||Mujahid Ali Bangash (father)|
Aitzaz's action to save his classmates captured the hearts of Pakistan, and he was hailed as a shahīd (martyr) and national hero. For his act, the office of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had advised President Mamnoon Husain to confer Aitzaz Hasan with the high civil award of Sitara-e-Shujaat (Star of Bravery). He was named as the Herald's Person of the Year for 2014.
Aitzaz Hasan's father is Mujahid Ali, 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. 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.
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.
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.
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." 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. Aitzaz's story led to an outpouring of emotion on television and on social media, where the hashtag #onemillionaitzazs trended on Twitter. A Facebook page has been set up in tribute to his act.
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.
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. 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".
Awards and honorsEdit
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 has advised President Mamnoon Husain to confer Aitzaz Hasan with the high civil award of Sitara-e-Shujaat (Star of Bravery) by Government of Pakistan. The award was to be received by Aitzaz Hasan's family on 23 March, Pakistan's national day.
On 12 January, the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) bestowed a global bravery award on Hasan.
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. 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."
- Also spelled as Aitizaz and Aitezaz
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- "Teenager dies trying to stop suicide bomber at his school in Pakistan". TheJournal.ie. 9 January 2014.
- "Aitzaz Hasan: Pakistan 'hero' recommended for award". The Sydney Morning Herald. 11 January 2014.
- "Herald's Person of the Year: Aitzaz Hasan". Dawn News.
- Al Jazeera and wire services. "'Heroic' Pakistani teen dies foiling suicide attack". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 11 January 2014.[permanent dead link]
- Correspondent. "Saving lives: A teenager's sacrifice for hundreds of mothers". The Express Tribune. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- "Schoolboy, 14, hailed a hero after sacrificing his own life to save classmates from Pakistan suicide bomber". Daily Mail. 9 January 2014.
- "Hero teenager dies chasing suicide bomber away from his school in Pakistan". Mirror. 10 January 2014.
- "Pakistan teen dies stopping suicide bomber". Al Jazeera. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Whole nation proud of Hangu hero: COAS". The Nation. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
- "Sheet laid on Aitzaz Hussain's grave on COAS behalf". The Frontier Post. 11 January 2014. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014.
- Saqib, Nasir. "Young defender: Public demands Nishaan-e-Haider for Aitizaz". Retrieved 9 January 2014.
- "Aitzaz Hasan: Pakistan 'hero' recommended for award". BBC News. 10 January 2014.
- "Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif hailed Aitzaz Hasan as a national hero". Khybernews.tv. 11 January 2014.
- "Martyr for the nation: Army chief salutes valour of Hangu teenager". The Express Tribune. 12 January 2014.
- "Aitzaz Hasan: 15-yr-old gave his life tackling a bomber, saved 2000 schoolmates". Dunya News. 8 January 2014.
- "Hangu school named after student hero Aitzaz Hasan". The News. January 14, 2014.
- "Biopic 'Salute' to pay homage to Aitzaz Hassan". DAWN Images. Anum Rehman. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "Aitizaz Hasan: Imran 'deeply disappointed' at K-P govt's lack of response". The Express Tribune. 12 January 2014.