Pakistani media hails heroic schoolboy

Islamabad, Jan 10: The Pakistani media Friday lauded the courage of a young schoolboy who sacrificed his life to stop a suicide bomber from attacking a school in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Aitzaz, a ninth-grade student of a school in Hangu district, was killed when the suicide bomber blew himself up in front of the gate of the government school Jan 6.

The schoolboy saved the lives of hundreds of other students when he prevented the suicide bomber from entering the school.

An editorial in Dawn newspaper said: “Once in a while ordinary citizens demonstrate such courage that it inspires us to stand up to the onslaught of the militants. Malala Yousafzai’s defiance of the outlawed Tekreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a case in point.

“Similarly, young Aitezaz Hussain’s ultimate sacrifice on Monday deserves to be highlighted for the selfless bravery the ninth-grader displayed.

“There is very little that can console Aitezaz Hussain’s family. But perhaps they can comfort themselves with the thought that their son gave his life so that hundreds of others could live. We must never forget Aitezaz and those like him – both civilians and those in uniform – who have sacrificed life and limb in the fight against militancy.”

According to the editorial, the militants may have snuffed out a promising young life but they can do little to subdue the spirit which drove the young man to sacrifice his life in his bid to resist tyranny and fanaticism.

Calling for the government to provide assistance to Hussain’s family, the newspaper said: “The state must condole with the young man’s family and offer them all possible assistance. Equally important, those in power should learn a thing or two from a young schoolboy about courageously standing up to violent extremism.”

Terming Aitezaz Hussain as “one in a million”, The Nation said: “He chose not to take the convenient option of doing nothing, and instead, when everyone else ran, he stood heroically and managed to keep the bomber outside his school.

“His sacrifice meant his life was the only one lost on that day, where this could have easily been a bloodbath. He refused to be just another scared member of the public, and instead actually managed to stop an attack from taking place,” it said.

IANS