The internet is always abuzz with something or the other. More often than not, it’s an attention-seeking celebrity or the divorce of Hollywood’s chummiest couple bouncing off the tabloids. Recently, however, the social media, especially that of Pakistani origin, has been on fire, demanding that a Nishan-e-Shujat be awarded to the late Aitzaz Hussain.
Aitzaz Hussain – who? If you haven’t come across this name in the past few days, then you’re missing out on one of the most heroic acts Pakistan has ever seen. What makes the whole thing even more amazing is that the martyr – Aitzaz Hussain – was only fourteen years old.
Hussain achieved his heroic status when he challenged a suicide bomber outside a school in the Ibrahimzai district of Hangu. The bomber, who was targeting a local school, was intercepted and restricted by Hussain, who was only in the ninth grade. Records of the eyewitnesses’ statements say that Hussain first pelted the bomber with a stone, and when the bomber fled, chased after him. The bomber blew himself up in the process, killing himself, and Hussain.
The entire district of Ibrahimzai is obliged to Aitzaz Hussain for saving the lives of hundreds of students and teachers present within the school premises. These innocent lives would have been lost at the hands of a brainwashed suicide bomber, had Aitzaz Hussain not been present.
That being said, it’s only fair to say that Aitzaz Hussain is Pakistan’s very own superhero. He has won the hearts of Pakistanis, who now, feel the need to recognize his sacrifice in every possible way.
Currently, an online petition has been doing rounds, demanding that Aitzaz Hussain be awarded the Nishan-e-Haider; the award, which is not meant to be awarded to civilians, is presented for the highest acts of bravery. Considering that very few instances exceed the bar set by a fourteen year-old sacrificing his life to save friends and teachers, the petition demands that an exception be made in this case, and that the Nishan-e-Haider be awarded to a civilian just this once.
Others suggest that the Nishan-e-Shujaat, the civilian equivalent of Nishan-e-Haider, should be awarded to Hussain for his bravery. The government has, as of this writing, only suggested that this act was worthy of an award, without any follow-up.
I request, respecting the sacrifice of Aitzaz Hussain, that his efforts be recognized, and that he be granted an order of bravery award soon. Not only did a fourteen year-old lose his life that day, but his parents lost a son and his classmates lost a friend. We owe it to them to make his sacrifice count.
But most of all, we owe it to the martyr, that is, Aitzaz Hussain, himself, who gave his life up so that hundreds more could live. I salute this man, and with it I pray that terrorism soon becomes a thing of the past.
If you agree that Aitzaz Hussain should be awarded with the Nishan-e-Haider, then you can sign the petition here: http://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/award-nishan-e-haider-to-aitizaz-hussain