The schoolboy who died stopping a suicide bomber from attacking his school has been recommended for a national award, the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday.
Aitezaz Hassan, 17, tackled the bomber as he tried to enter a government school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Hassan and the bomber died but no other students or staff were hurt, police said. “Though I lost my sweet son I have no regret for what he has done. He has done a heroic job and I am proud of his bravery,” Aitezaz’s father, Mujahid Ali, told Reuters. The bomber approached the school with explosives hidden under a school uniform on Monday, but students noticed and started shouting out warnings to stop him.
Aitezaz tackled him head on but the bomb detonated and Aitezaz died of his injuries, said head teacher Azmat Ali. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for the attack. The school is in Hangu. On Friday, the Prime Minister’s Office said it had recommended him for Sitara-e-Shujaat, or Star of Bravery, award. “Shaheed (martyr) Aitezaz’s brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism,” the statement said.
The boy’s parents said no government official or politician had contacted them. Aitezaz’s father said authorities could rename the school after him and officially declare him a martyr. His mother, brother, and two sisters were mourning Aitezaz but took some comfort in knowing that he had saved many others, the father said. The number of suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan rose by more than a third to 46 last year, according to a study released earlier this week by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.