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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

January 9, 2014 - 8:10 am

aitezaz

The family of Pakistani teenager Aitzaz Hassan called him “pehlwan” — or wrestler — because of his heavy-set frame. On Monday, Hassan, who wanted to become a doctor, used his might to keep a suicide bomber from blowing up his classmates.

Hassan was the only student standing outside his government school in the northwestern district of Hangu when the suicide bomber, claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, tried to enter the gates. Everyone else was inside at the morning assembly. Since Hassan was late, he was punished by having to stand outside during the gathering.

He saw the detonator, and quickly tackled the bomber who was trying to target the 1,000 students inside. Hassan died later at a hospital from injuries suffered in the bomb blast.

Hassan’s father, Mujahid Ali Bangash, was working in the United Arab Emirates at the time. He told Agence France-Presse he was “happy that my son has become a martyr by sacrificing his life for a noble cause.”

“Aitzaz has made us proud by valiantly intercepting the bomber and saving the lives of hundreds of his fellow students,” he said.

Zarrar Khuhro, an executive producer at Dawn News TV, questioned in a stirring op-ed in the Dawn print version whether the nation is worthy of such a boy.

“We live in a land where a young child, Aitzaz Hussain, had to give his life fighting a scourge that our own leaders bend over backwards in an attempt to appease. There is sorrow and rage because a nation that can produce such lions does not deserve to be led by such lambs,” Khuhro wrote. “…He saw a split second chance and saved countless lives with a courage few of us can match. Had he not been there, had he not done what he did, dozens, maybe hundreds of children would have lost their lives in a flash of fire, their bodies torn apart by cruel, blind shrapnel.”

“From what the family says, they stand tall. In this moment of darkness, they hold onto the belief that their child did not die in vain, that he made the greatest sacrifice possible, that his blood bought life by stopping a beast who walked with and worshipped nothing but death. But for how long? The world will move on, the focus – what little there is of it – will shift and they will be left alone in empty rooms, waiting for a voice that will never be heard again,” Khuhro continued.

“We don’t need more Aitzazs’. Not one or one million. What we need is to be worthy of the one we lost. What we need is for those who claim to lead us to show the courage that this boy did. Perhaps, that is too much to ask from those who roll out apologies and obfuscations with such unerring regularity, but stammer and shake when it comes to naming those responsible for mass murder.”

Bridget Johnson is a career journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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When one of ours falls on a grenade to save his fellow soldiers he gets the Medal Of Honor. This boy deserves as much from his own people. He is a true hero.Something we hear too little of from that part of the world. May he rest in peace.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly, for a good portion of his own people, the suicide bomber is the real hero.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am not a great admirer of Islam but here is a true son of the Prophet.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Perhaps, that is too much to ask from those who roll out apologies and obfuscations with such unerring regularity, but stammer and shake when it comes to naming those responsible for mass murder.”

Yes, it is far, far too much to expect from the usual Cowards, Traitors and Malignant Narcissists that make up The Political Class.

Here, as well as there
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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