A Pakistani schoolboy who sacrificed his own life to save hundreds of his classmates by tackling a suicide bomber will have his school and a stadium named after him, officials said yesterday.
Pakistani soldiers lay a wreath on the grave of student Aitzaz Hassan. Pics/AFP
Aitzaz Hassan, a 15-year-old from the mainly Shiite Ibrahimzai village in north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, became a national hero after intercepting the bomber, before he was able to enter Hassan’s school last week.
The teen died in hospital after the bomber blew himself up some 150 metres (490 feet) from the main gate of the school of 1,000 students, though no one else was wounded or killed in the incident. Amjad Afridi, a senior adviser to the provincial government, said, “We have decided to name Aitzaz Hassan’s school after him. We will also construct a sports stadium in Hangu and will name it after Hassan.”
Afridi, who, along with another senior official, went to pay their personal respects to the family of Hassan, added that the provincial government would also donate Pakistani rupee 50 lakh (Rs 30 lakh) to the bereaved parents. The award comes after the office of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif last week said it would seek ‘to approve the conferment of a top national bravery award Sitara-e-Shujjat (star of bravery)’ on the teen.
Hassan’s act of bravery, which prevented the bomber from striking the morning school assembly, has received an outpouring of tributes from across Pakistan. Newspapers, TV channels and blogs have demanded that he be commemorated. Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for championing girls’ right to education, also paid tribute to the teenager last week, describing him as “brave and courageous”.
Amount (in Pakistani rupee) Aitzaz Hassan’s parents will receive from the provincial government as compensation