Teen recommended for top Pakistan award for tackling Taliban bomber

By Kirstin Buick
10 January 2014

The Pakistani government will consider conferring the country's highest civil honour on a teenage boy who died when he stopped a Taliban suicide bomber from blowing up a school.

The Pakistani government will consider conferring the country's highest civil honour on a teenage boy who died when he stopped a Taliban suicide bomber from blowing up a school.

Aitizaz Hasan (15) a grade 9 student in Hangu district of north-western Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, died on January 6 when he tackled the bomber at the gate of the school compound. The bomber then detonated his device, killing himself and Hasan. No one else was wounded or killed. Only a few teenagers have received civil awards in Pakistan, including Malala Yousafzai, the now-famous campaigner for girls' education who was shot by the Taliban in 2012.

Nasir Khan Durrani, police chief for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, recommended Hasan for the award to recognize his "bravery and courage."

"The suicide bomber tried to enter the school where hundreds of students were studying. Aitizaz Hasan sacrificed his life and stopped the bomber," a police statement said. "He saved the lives of hundreds of innocent students with his extreme valour and bravery."

The parliament passed a resolution paying tribute to Hasan, while his actions have figured highly in Pakistani newspapers, on television and social media.

Hasan's father Mujahid Ali Bangash said on Thursday that he felt pride at his son's actions. "Many people are coming to see me but if they try to express sympathy, I tell them to congratulate me instead on becoming the father of a martyr," he told Express Tribune newspaper.

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