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AHRC salutes a 16 year old boy who sacrificed life

AHRC-STM-012-2014
January 12, 2014

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

Pakistan: The AHRC salutes a 16 year old boy who sacrificed life to save 2000 students

The AHRC also pays tribute to a police officer SSP Choudhry Aslam who was killed in a suicide attack by Taliban

A 16 year old boy has saved the lives of 2000 fellow students and school staff by sacrificing himself by stopping a suicide bomber who came to blow the school and kill all the children. This incident happened In Hangu in Khyber Pakhtunkha (KPK) province which has become a stronghold for the Taliban and sectarian organizations that are against the Shia sect of Islam, the second largest sect.

This is the second example of the love for education in the Taliban dominated areas after Miss Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and injured by the Taliban for standing up for the education of girls. The ruling political party of KPK, TIP of Imran Khan, cricketer turned politician, and other right wing parties always claimed that whole of KPK and tribal areas want the rule of Taliban and are supporters of Taliban. Such political parties never liked to have action against terrorists who had already blown up more than 600 boys and girls schools in the KPK and Tribal areas, bordering Afghanistan and had never condemned such activities.

The KPK and its population can proudly claim that their children are braver than those who claim themselves the savior of the country.

The boy, Aitezaz Hussain, reached school late on Monday, January 5, morning and was not allowed to attend the morning assembly as punishment. He was standing outside the gate with two other schoolmates when a man aged 20-25 years approached the Government High School Ibrahimzai in Hangu and said he was there to take admission. It was during this conversation that one of the students spotted a detonator and Aitizaz’s schoolmates ran inside. But Aitizaz stood his ground, grabbed hold of the bomber who then detonated his vest.

Eyewitnesses said the attacker was dressed in school uniform. He detonated his vest when he was stopped for questioning by 9th grader, Aitezaz, outside the school’s gate, killing himself and the student on the spot. “I had never thought that my brother would die such a great death. He sacrificed his life to save humanity,” Mujtaba said in an interview with The Express Tribune.

An official of the bomb disposal squad said around six kilogrammes of explosives were used. The banned sectarian organization Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the electoral partner of the ruling political party (PML-N) at center and Punjab claimed responsibility for the attack. The school is the only one in Ibrahimzai, a Shia-dominated area in Hangu.

Aitezaz was the second of his siblings and had two sisters. He was a friend to many, respected and loved in his village, where the news of his death spread rapidly. Government officials had not visited the family until Wednesday night and neither had officials made their typical announcements of ‘compensation’.

When the people of Pakistan at large and media outlets came out in support of valiant courage of Aitzaz and demanded that the government must give the highest possible national award to this child the prime minister has recommended to the president of Pakistan to announce a national award for him and yet president is considering the issues as he does not wish to annoy the Taliban and their electoral partners.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) salutes the courage 16-year-old Aitezaz Hussain who scarified his life for the protection of his school fellows and teachers who were the target of Islamic religious militant groups. No doubt he is the pride of Pakistan. It is appalling that the terrorist organizations are patronized by the state institutions like the military establishment and judiciary.

In this connection the AHRC also salutes a brave police officer of the Karachi city, SSP Chaudhry Aslam Khan, who was killed in a suicide attacked by the Taliban. He was killed along with his driver and head constable. The Senior Superintendent of Police has been suffering threats to his life since 2005 and more than five times the terrorist groups attacked him. On one occasion his entire house was destroyed in a bombing. Regardless, he has never compromised with the terrorist.

Though the governments have announced cash rewards for his family but the government and ministry of Interior have not condemned the attack or Taliban for their coward attacks.

It looks as if the federal government has no intention of providing security to the citizens as they want to keep such militant organizations to use them in Afghanistan when allied forces leave the country. Such militant groups are termed by the military establishment as the partner of future strategy for Afghanistan and India.

A study by the Islamabad-based Pak Institute for Peace Studies found that terrorist attacks in 2013 increased by nine per cent over the previous year while the number of people killed in such incidents jumped by 19 per cent. The number of suicide attacks climbed by 39 per cent in the same period.

It is appalling that the children of the country are sacrificing their lives to eradicate terrorism while the country's leaders are doing everything in their power to appease the terrorists at the cost of the lives of thousands of people.

The AHRC salutes the courage of these two men and urges the government to announce the highest national awards for young Aitezaz Hussain and SSP Choudhry Aslam for fighting against terrorism at the cost of their lives and for saving the lives of thousands.

ENDS

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