“There is little that a bomb can do to hurt you,” Aitzaz's friends would tease him because of his healthy frame.
They talked about suicide bombers all the time. The last time they talked about it was two days before Aitzaz died, sitting up there on the hill where the school is, the one he died protecting, the one now named after him. They told him, he wouldn’t be able to run away to save his life, and perhaps that humor turned out to be a dark reality.
It was a chilly winter morning of January 7, 2014 when 15 year old Aitzaz Hasan left for school with two other friends, they wasted time here and there, were late for the morning assembly as usual. They were asked to stand outside the school for sometime as a punishment.
Few minutes later a 25 year old man approached the gate, stated that he wanted to take admission and asked where the school assembly was exactly taking place. Suddenly one of them noticed a detonator on the man's vest and both of his other friends started running inside the school and pushed him along.
"I am going to stop him," he replied. "This man is going to kill my friends".
The man started running towards the school as well, Aitzaz tried confronting him, threw a stone at him which failed to hit the bomber, then he ran towards the person at grabbed him, this tussle led to the suicide bomber detonating his vest and an explosion took place, killing the bomber and severely injuring Aitzaz.
Children can be brave and reckless. Even when death stares them in the face, children are not paralysed by the fear of its finality. Few hours later, Aitzaz lost his life at the hospital fighting injuries. Two thousand children attended school that day, for sure he saved hundreds of lives.
Perhaps Aitzaz Hasan Bangash didn’t think of what it means to confront a suicide bomber, didn’t know the meaning of something as irrevocable as death. Or perhaps he did? But that didn’t stop him.
“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.” His father says, with pride.
That's all he is able to say before he has to hide his strong willed face and stop his tears.
“I am happy that my son has become a martyr by sacrificing his life for a noble cause.”
This describes exactly why our country is full of brave people. Pakistan is proud of Aitzaz Ahsan. But Pakistan needs people like him, Pakistan needs us, more now, than ever.