One brave schoolboy gone

This happened:

Aitzaz Hasan, 15, was with friends outside school when they spotted a man wearing a suicide vest.

Despite the pleas of his fellow students, he decided to confront and capture the bomber who then detonated his vest, his cousin told the BBC.

So that’s the end for Aitzaz Hasan, at age 15.

The incident took place on Monday 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, media reports say.

“My cousin sacrificed his life saving his school and hundreds of students and school fellows,” his cousin Mudassar Hassan Bangish told the BBC’s Aleem Maqbool.

I’m having trouble seeing the screen clearly enough to compose this post.

His family have also spoken of Aitzaz’s actions in Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper.

“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children,” Mujahid Ali, Aitzaz’s father is quoted as saying.

Damn this screen.

On Twitter, users are paying tribute to Aitzaz using the hashtags #onemillionaitzaz and #AitzazBraveheart echoing the language used online around figures such as Malala and the Delhi rape victim, whose death galvanised Indian public opinion and prompted changes in rape laws there.

Former Pakistani ambassador to the US Sherry Rehman tweeted:“Hangu’s shaheed Aitzaz Hasan is #Pakistan’s pride. Give him a medal at least. Another young one with heartstopping courage #AitzazBraveheart.”

Hangu is close to Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal regions, which have a strong Taliban and al-Qaeda presence and the area is also known for sectarian violence against Shia Muslims.

Wouldn’t it be nice if human beings would just stop killing each other over “sectarian” bullshit?



  1. says

    No, that’s really not true. Some places are less violent than others. Some places are less violent and then become more violent. Steven Pinker argues that humans used to be far more violent than they/we are now. No, sectarian disputes really do trigger violence that would not be there otherwise.

  2. sailor1031 says

    Given the carnage of WW1 and WW2 and subsequent development of more and more hideous WMDs I’m not necessariy convinced by Stephen Pinker’s arguments but, just my opinion, even where violence is apparently sectarian in nature, the underlying cause is often a struggle for power. If religion went away the egos of the power-hungry would not. They’d find a way to use language, colour, social class, cultural or any number of other differences between ‘us’ and ‘them’. Rarely is a conflict just about religious differences. Does John McCain want to bomb everything in sight because of religion? Well maybe, but he’d never dare say that!

  3. kevinalexander says

    Pinker didn’t need to offer an argument, the data speaks for itself. The twentieth century wasn’t the most violent. It only seems that way because it had the most spectacular incidents of violence with the clearest documentation. It was, up to that point, the most populated century so while the numbers were huge the actual death rate as a % of the population was less.
    To put it another way, while Joshua or Genghis could exterminate entire nations Hitler could only kill a significant fraction his intend victims.

  4. stripeycat says

    It would be wonderful if the Pakistani government were willing to make a big statement: publicly award whatever their equivalent of a posthumous George Cross would be. Make a scene about opposing terrorism. Bets?

  5. says

    Kevin – I almost said “offers evidence” but it sounded kind of woolly so I pared it down to argues.

    sailor I’m certainly not claiming that all violence would disappear, but I am claiming that one huge motivator of it would disappear. It would be a net gain.

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