Aitzaz Hasan: A Tribute to a Brave Young Man
By Jose Mario De Vega
I refer to “Pakistani Teen Sacrificed His Life To Save 2,000 Students From Suicide Bomber”, by R & S in Alternative News, Exposing the Realities, January 14.
To quote from the said article:
“Pakistani teenager immortalized himself as a hero on Monday when he gave his life to tackle a suicide bomber who was running into his school.
“According to the BBC, 15-year-old Aitzaz Hasan was chatting with a few friends outside his school in the Hangu region when he spotted a man wearing a vest laden with explosives.
“His friends begged him to stay put but Hasan confronted and took down the bomber, who responded by detonating the vest.
“Aitzaz’s incomparable sacrifice has caused many to urge the Pakistani military to award him the army’s highest honor.”
I joined the international community and the rest of the global citizens of nations in commending and applauding his courage and hailing him not only as a local hero, but also as a shining example of what the best in humanity can offer in today’s tumultuous and chaotic world!
I am also in complete agreement to journalist Nasim Zehra in his tweet that echoes the sentiments of the people of Pakistan that:
“We the citizens believe that State of Pk must award Nishan-i-Haider to Pk’s brave son Shaheed Aitezaz…”
This young man has shown us once again the truthfulness and veracity of the philosophy of selflessness and the principle of sacrifice.
Hasan’s friends, who were with him that fateful day, narrated to his cousin, Mudassar Hassan Bangish the sequence of events:
“So he told them ‘I’m going to stop him. He is going to school to kill my friends.’ He wanted to capture this suicide bomber. He wanted to stop [him]. Meanwhile the suicide bomber blasted himself which resulted in the death of my cousin…”
It was reported that “there were almost 2,000 students at the school when the bomber appeared.”
I concur with his cousin Bangish’s description of Hassan as a brave and a good student, and I am also in complete agreement to his family’s admonishment and insistence that Pakistan must “focus on the boy’s bravery and pride rather than the sorrow of his death.”
That in my view should be the way to celebrate his life!
Consider the words of his father, Mujahid Ali to Pakistan’s Express Tribune newspaper:
“My son made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children.”
His altruistic and selfless act of sacrificing himself for others has lend credence to the time-honored principle that the greatest thing we can do is to give up ourselves to the service and benefit of our friends, in particular and for humanity, in general.
His noble principle of sacrifice had revealed not only his fortitude, but also exemplified his sheer will and indomitable spirit of doing the right thing at the right time for the right reason and cause in the face of harm and danger even to the point of death!
Our hero’s death has proved once again that the power of love and sacrifice is far more superior than, the force of power, hate, terror and barbarism!
His heroism and sacrifice had shamed the bastard Taliban for all eternity!
Our hero perished, yet I believe that he did not die in vain, because he died a glorious death. The heroic death of this young warrior has shown us, in an indubitable sense the meaning of his life and the distinctive animating spirit of his bold and noble character.
Needless to state, I also subscribed to the “residents of Aitzaz’s mostly Shia hometown along with a great deal of the country as a whole are comparing the boy to Malala Yousafzai, the fearless campaigner for female education who was shot in the face by a member of the Taliban.”
There is a great parallelism between the two. Both of them are Pakistani, both are young, both love and respect the value and worth of education, both stood their ground against terrorism and extremism (of the bastard Taliban) and both suffered (though, it is fortunate to state that unlike Hassan, Malala survived) for their principles and beliefs. (See my article on Malala, Humanity welcomes back ‘daughter of the world’, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Jan. 16, 2013)
Lastly, these two great souls are undeniably courageous spirits!
But what is courage any way?
Courage in my view, does not mean the absence of fear, rather it is precisely the presence of fear yet the will to go on and proceed regardless of the consequences and irrespective of the outcome. It is on this indisputable sense and incontestable reason that the Greek philosopher Aristotle is correct when he proudly proclaimed that courage is the first among the illustrious list of the virtues.
Undeniably, “courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees the others.”
Hail to Hassan, a true blue hero and a shining example and clear exemplification of what genuine Humanity is all about!
May you live forever, brother!!!
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines
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