Hero’s Family Threatened

Mujahid Ali (L), the father of Aitzaz Hassan, a 15-year old (in picture frames) who stopped a suicide bomber at his school, mourns his son.
Mujahid Ali (L), father of Aitzaz Hassan, the 15-year old (shown in picture frames) who stopped a suicide bomber at his school, mourns his son. (Photo: BASIT SHAH/AFP/Getty Images)

The family of a teenager who sacrificed his life stopping a terrorist attack on his school in Pakistan is now being threatened with reprisals.

As reported by P.J. Media, Aitzaz Hassan was only 15 when he saw a suicide bomber try to enter his school intending to blow himself up in the morning assembly. Aitzaz, a heavy-set boy known as the “wrestler,” took the terrorist down.

In the process the bomb exploded. Aitzaz died at a hospital from wounds sustained during the blast.

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a terrorist organization connected to al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Pakistani Taliban, took responsibility for the attack.

Now, Aitzaz’s family has received threats from the Pakistani Taliban. “Aitzaz Hasan is not a hero nor a martyr,” the letter sent to the family said. “If Aitzaz’s brother Mujtaba does not stop meeting media and officials of government institutions, he will be responsible for any loss.”

The Pakistani Taliban shot Malala Yousafzai, who, at the time was a blogger and advocate for girl’s education in Pakistan. Despite being shot in the head at point blank range, Yousafzai survived and went on to become the youngest person to win the Nobel Prize.

Aitzaz’s brother Mujtaba made repeated requests to the Pakistani government for protection for his family, but they have gone unanswered.

“Despite my plea to the relevant security institutions informing them of the threat, I have not yet received a reply from any of them,” Mujtaba said. “Right now my family only has one guard for protection provided by the district administration. It is a request to the authorities to give us the required security. My family is going through trauma and need their support.”

Aitzaz was posthumously awarded Pakistan’s Star of Bravery. Yet Mujtaba relates, “They [the government] are yet to keep their word of building two colleges and a sports stadium in Aitzaz’s name. The federal government has not contacted us at all.”

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Meira Svirsky
Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org