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Aitzaz Hasan in an image distributed on social media
Aitzaz Hasan in an image distributed on social media

SIXTEEN-year-old Aitzaz Hasan, killed while averting a suicide attack on his school in Hangu in January last year, has been chosen as Herald’s Person of the Year for 2014.

Herald’s annual Person of the Year project sets out to recognise those individuals in Pakistan who had a profound influence on the news and who embodied, for good or ill, what was important about the year.

Hasan, whose sacrifice attained further poignancy after the December 16 attack on Peshawar’s Army Public School, emerged as the winner in a three-way voting process that included online voting, postal ballots and input from a panel of 10 eminent Pakistanis.

In the final cumulative result, Hasan received 24.1 per cent of the votes, closely followed by Imran Khan, who received 23.3 per cent and who was included on the list for “creating the biggest political storm of the year”.

Other candidates in the running were lawyer Rashid Rehman, gunned down last year for defending a blasphemy accused; the Lyari footballers, who placed third in the Street Child World Cup; Mama Qadeer, leading campaigner for the return of the missing Baloch; child activist and Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai; television talk-show host Hamid Mir; chief of army staff General Raheel Sharif; cricketer Younis Khan, and, collectively, all local directors who debuted films this year.

In Herald’s upcoming annual issue, Yousafzai – Herald’s Person of the Year for 2012 – pays tribute to Hasan, writing:

“Our country is blessed with brave people. The story of Aitzaz Hasan reflects their reliance, courage and bravery.”

Published in Dawn, January 1st, 2015

Comments (105) Closed

Touseef Jan 01, 2015 06:46am

Salute to our braves!!

Naseer Jan 01, 2015 06:48am

We are very proud of you and you will live forever in our hearts!

Sindhu ranja Jan 01, 2015 06:49am

Thank God he is the real hero he made the ultimate sacrifice not the ultimate sell out he choose heaven not the world

Nabeel Jan 01, 2015 06:51am

This person should be awarded Nishan E Haider. Thanks for recognising his sacrifice.

Gordon D Walker Jan 01, 2015 07:04am

Rest in Peace, my brother, my hero ! ! !

Gordon D Walker; Artist, Writer, Citizen of the World.

ahmed Jan 01, 2015 07:14am

excellent voting

AdHawk Jan 01, 2015 07:21am

Very appropriate. R.I.P young hero.

Mohammad Ali Khan Jan 01, 2015 07:26am

I commend Herald for this outstanding recognition.This young man deserves a Nishan-e-Haider.

AJamal Jan 01, 2015 07:29am

Atizaz truly deserved it. A role model for all of us especially younger ones. May Allah accept his sacrifice.

just_someone Jan 01, 2015 07:33am

Good decision! I can not think of anyone more deserving!

sharjil Jan 01, 2015 07:51am

Amazing and truly heroic individual. Never heard of such bravery by a schoolkid.

hp Jan 01, 2015 08:06am

Great choice

Fakhir Jan 01, 2015 08:35am

I salute your my brother. You are the one who chose martyrdom and saved our children. You will always be with us. You are the true follower of Islam and Karbala which teach us sacrifice rather than killing innocent people. Thanks Allah for blessing us with Aitzaz Hassan. Now we all are Aitzaz Hasan and will sacrifice our lives to safe this country.

Ali Jan 01, 2015 09:09am

Aitzaz. You gave your life for others. What an example. Easy to say but very very difficult to do in the selfish world we are living in.

Salam brother. You made us proud. May Allah give you the reward. Ameen.

Saraz Jan 01, 2015 09:14am

RIP Aitzaz Rip Rehman

Sunshine (USA) Jan 01, 2015 09:25am

It is so sad. In many countries, schools and education are taken for granted and here we read stories of brave young heros being killed just trying to save their school. Rest in peace Aitzaz Hasan. You saved hundreds of lives that day. The world is proud of you !

Zahid.USA Jan 01, 2015 09:26am

Rest In Peace Aitzaz. You are definitely my Hero and person of the Year. Thank You May allah give us strength to fight terrorism. Ameen

Faisal Aheed Jan 01, 2015 09:26am

If Malala has been awarded a Nobel Price then he should get two. Really a brave boy, he deserves it .

Rainman Jan 01, 2015 09:31am

No doubt, no controversy, no bias. Just a big "YES" for Aitzaz.

Lucky 7 Jan 01, 2015 09:42am


Gul khan Jan 01, 2015 09:49am

I am so proud of This Real Hero & Lovely Kid. Allah bless and rest his soul in eternal Peace!

Asim Iqbal Jan 01, 2015 09:51am

right decision totally agree with it

Spalijo Jan 01, 2015 09:56am

I voted for Aitezaz!! Glad that he has been chosen as the person of the year

kumail Jan 01, 2015 10:08am

Bravo, Inshallah soon terrorism will end in Pakistan forever. Salute and prayers for the Shaheed

khan Jan 01, 2015 10:23am

a true hero...salute !!!

Ali Jan 01, 2015 10:39am

Bravo! My hero.

Ram aur Rahim Khan Jan 01, 2015 10:41am

My respect and my salute to this kid and the other brave souls.

Rizwan Jan 01, 2015 11:03am

A real Hero.

Dinesh Singh Jan 01, 2015 11:03am

I am Indian so I am not aware of story of this young boys sacrifice and achievements, to find out if there is any thing which we can emulate. Can any one post it I shall be thankful to her/him.

usman Jan 01, 2015 11:33am

Yes he was great by sacrificing his life to save lot of children.

Muhammad Ali Jan 01, 2015 11:40am

That is very good to hear. He was seemed to be forgotten in the fame of Malala, Herald has made his gallant act alive again

Osama Jan 01, 2015 11:48am

Real hero of Pakistan.

Zahra Farooq Rizvi Jan 01, 2015 11:55am

The story of brave Aitzaz Hasan is really inspirational. He bravely confronted a suicide bomber to save the lives of 2,000 innocent children of his school at Hangu.

The PMLN Government has rightly honored him with Gallantry Award

But the Taliban government in KPK refused to acknowledge his gallantry. A beautiful poem by Aitzaz'z uncle is available on the internet:

May Aitzaz enjoy in heaven for the great sacrifice he made for thousands of families!

Saleem R Jan 01, 2015 11:56am

Well deserved, he will always be in heart of Pakistanis. May Allah grant him eternal peace.

NHM Jan 01, 2015 11:57am

Rest in Peace Aitzaz, you gave your life and left this world at a very early age so others may live on. Your contribution to humanity and society puts you at par with many honorable individuals in the history of mankind. In a society whose thoughts and minds are at the mercy of wicked people you standout as a beacon of hope. You are my hero and the hero of this nation I thank Herald for naming him the person of the year

Naveed Alam Khattak Jan 01, 2015 12:25pm

Yes he deserves

armani bobs Jan 01, 2015 12:28pm

True Heroes are are usually Ignored------------ A great Service by Dawn

Ilyas Jan 01, 2015 12:32pm

he prevented what happened in Peshawar on Dec. 16. RIP. He was the real hero and gave his life for others to live.

navas Jan 01, 2015 12:46pm

right choice and real hero. God bless you wherever you are!

Addy Jan 01, 2015 01:03pm

Aitzaz is a true hero of Pakistan. He took the courage to protect his fellow students and sacrifice his life. Hundreds of souls owe him a national recognition.

While we cannot even begin to fathom the pain of Aziz's parents, however, we should commend them for raising their child so well and save hundreds of innocent children.

Rest in peace. We are so proud of you.

Parvez Jan 01, 2015 01:26pm

Excellent choice.

Fuad Jan 01, 2015 01:46pm

Excellent choice!!! Proud to be Pakistani!!

tayyaba Jan 01, 2015 01:54pm

young hero,proud of you

Rehman Jan 01, 2015 01:55pm

Any medals from the corrupt government yet for this brave boy, probably the bravest of all of us.

ChitralToday Jan 01, 2015 02:04pm


Farhan Jan 01, 2015 02:13pm

Great national Hero who saved hundreds of children but gave up his own life. Rest in Peace.

AdHawk Jan 01, 2015 02:27pm

"Wah Wah, Shabaash Ladke, Wah Wah"

Tu Jawan Mardon Say Baazi Le Gaya"

Yousuf47 London Jan 01, 2015 02:27pm

The Government should reward this young man for his exceptional bravery to save his school in Hangu by erecting a monument at the spot he was brutally killed so as to remind people of his contribution in saving a place of learning which he cherished thus saving many lives. May this young man rest in peace.

AW Jan 01, 2015 02:32pm

The boy who went to school and taught world a lesson!

Imran Dud Jan 01, 2015 02:36pm

It is really heartwarming to see that Aitzaz is on the top. Imran Khan should not have been this close to him, knowing that he refused to recognize this boy's bravery.

fairy Jan 01, 2015 02:44pm

excellent choice!!!! I admired his courage on that day. But after what happened in Peshawar School I truly realized the real importance of his courageous effort. Salute to you lil bro. Salute to your family.

Masood Ali Khan Jan 01, 2015 02:48pm

Tribute to my young Hero and to their parents/guardians because of great contribution to grow such a daring son.

satish tripathi Jan 01, 2015 02:50pm

Hats off

due to this courage HASTI MITEGI NAHI HAMARI

Rana Asghar Jan 01, 2015 02:53pm

Deserves Nishan-e-Haider

Shahzad Ali Jan 01, 2015 03:05pm

Deserve Nishan e Haider

Shahzad Ali Jan 01, 2015 03:07pm

Khoon rang laiga shaheedoon ka lahoo...

aftab Jan 01, 2015 03:17pm

we are proud of brave people like him.My message to those terrorist who are becoming fodder at the hands of extremist forces and giving their life for no reason to be like Aitzaz.Earn life hereafter and some dignity and honour for your parents after death for good cause.

Muddassir Jan 01, 2015 03:17pm

Actual Hero of the Nation... sacrifice his life for others.......

saima Jan 01, 2015 03:18pm


shami Jan 01, 2015 03:23pm

Just online appreciation is not enough. His parents should be awarded a civil prize for bringing such a brave boy in this world.

farhad Jan 01, 2015 03:27pm

for the first time, a fantastic choice made ...

Ahmad Jan 01, 2015 03:31pm

A noble and brave soul. Rest in peace young man. May we prove worthy of your sacrfice.

Taimoor Jan 01, 2015 03:36pm

This is the guy who deserve the noble price more then anyone.

Habib Jan 01, 2015 03:38pm

God bless you Nangarhar, afghanistan

Riaz Jan 01, 2015 03:39pm

This is true courage which must be recognized; much better than those rewarded so far.

RJ Jan 01, 2015 03:47pm

What a brave person young Aitzaz was...shown the light to all of us! We need more Aitzaz in our midst...RIP high & mighty young fella...God bless!

Maqsood Jan 01, 2015 04:06pm

Martyr never dies, they are alive,you and those who sacrifice for the nation will be alive in the heart of Pakistan.

Abu.Ashhad Jan 01, 2015 04:47pm

when I heard about the news of 16/12 and my instinct just recalled nation's real hero, Aitizaz. He is the inspiration, a super hero, a solider and a Pakistani. A very right decision and may Allah give you the highest place in Jannah and give us some courage that you had.

Ali Raza Jan 01, 2015 04:55pm


ahsan Jan 01, 2015 05:02pm

Salute.Respect. We are proud of you Aitzaz Hasan,

Toosy Jan 01, 2015 06:13pm

Great Boy! Great sacrifice. All Pakistanis owe him honour.

kashif iqbal Jan 01, 2015 06:14pm

We have no authority to select any place for Aitazar. But in this world after the passing away of Aitazaz, whatever is in our hands we are doing. Great tribute to Aitazaz.

Riaz Jan 01, 2015 07:30pm

No dout that Aitazaz deserves Nishan i Haider .Civilians should also be awarded Nishan i Haider for such acts of bravery .His act also proves that the civilians have made much greater sacrifices in this war of terror.

Sharic Jan 01, 2015 07:55pm

Aitzaz a boy worth an army. Why not Nishane Haider for him.

rashid Jan 01, 2015 08:09pm

Agree with Herald's selection! This brave soul was not celebrated the way it should have been!

nasiroski Jan 01, 2015 08:27pm

Right choice indeed, tough choice between him and Mr Rashid

rashid Jan 01, 2015 08:54pm

@ChitralToday no doubt

saba Jan 01, 2015 09:41pm

he is our hero. We will also protect our future generation.

Shahid pervez Jan 01, 2015 09:57pm

What is called a Hero. If any one wants to know the meaning of the word Hero, just look into what this boy did. He is a real Hero and real Shaheed. It is very easy to think of becoming a hero while sitting in our safe houses but it requires the greatest degree of selflessness, love for others, courage, purity and clarity of mind and above all willing to sacrifice ones own life for a noble cause. My dear Aitezaz! I love you, I salute you and still I can not repay for what you did for us. I won't say you rest in peace because I am sure you have already earned it with your life.I would only request you to please pray for us and guide us to mend our ways so that all of us have the same level of courage and and mind set as you had.

saddam Jan 01, 2015 10:02pm

real hero of 2014.....

kamran Jan 01, 2015 10:44pm


abdulhameed Jan 01, 2015 11:50pm

He deserves to be the the person of the year. I hope and pray that his sacrifice is not wasted by our corrupt and inept rulers.

Imran Jan 01, 2015 11:58pm

Salam is shaheed per

samar Jan 02, 2015 12:03am

Our real hero respect and a salute to his bravery

MA Jan 02, 2015 12:11am

A real Hero. Who knows what could have happened if This brave soul was not there. I wish Pakistan find a few sincere politicians like Imran Khan who can do some good for Pakistan so the sacrifice of Aitezaz do not go vane. The current rulers including the previous regime were all crooks. God help Pakistan.

javed ali Hasrat Jan 02, 2015 12:11am


Yawar Jan 02, 2015 12:21am

A truly brave kid who sacrificed himself to save the lives of his friends and schoolmates.

shafiq Jan 02, 2015 12:49am

Rest in peace my little brother. You are truly a National Hero. Very sad your holy soul departed soon but I am sure you are in very good place in Heaven. I think, our brother was awarded with Sitra-e-jurat along with shuhada's package from government of Pakistan & KPK.

JZ Jan 02, 2015 01:00am

Brave boy of our soil. we still have hope if we have people like hasan

Saad Jan 02, 2015 01:31am

pakistan's hero.

umers Jan 02, 2015 01:36am

May ALLAH give you jannat

Zak Jan 02, 2015 01:51am

You embody the spirit of Pakistan, and that is why this country is so strong and resilient. We pray for you and your family.

Zak Jan 02, 2015 01:54am

@Dinesh Singh it is sad that indian media hides the good things about Pakistan but highlights the bad. His bravery was covered by international media for several days.

muhamad Jan 02, 2015 04:01am

Real superman

Hassan Javed Jan 02, 2015 04:34am

Congratulations to Herald for picking the most deserving Pakistani who knowingly sacrificed his life for others. As late Sufi Tabusum said, "aay putr hutan tay nai wikday". May Allah bless him and honor him with the highest merits in paradise!

Zulfiqar_Ahmed Jan 02, 2015 06:00am

My eyes are wet, meray bachay. I love you.

I Khan (CA, USA) Jan 02, 2015 07:13am

I wish no child has to go through which Atizaz has faced. Indeed he is a true hero and a Sheed. May Allah grant him highest place in Jannah. I also commend " Herald" for conducting a transparent voting and recognising him. May peace prevail everywhere.

Rustam Ali Khan Jan 02, 2015 08:15am

Aitzaz, you'll always remain in our hearts, thought and prayers. You are an icon of bravery, courage and inspiration to the mankind. May your soul rest in peace. Aameen

Khalifa Jan 02, 2015 08:38am

The Government of Pakistan must consider naming a prominent street in Islamabad after his name. While this may sound very small, it will have a bearing on the coming generations. Martyrs like Aitezaz are being remembered every day in living societies. His example is illuminating enough to light the ways of many a young people who wish to see this nation educated and prosperous.

The KPK Government may consider building a model school after his name in an appropriately chosen location near the home town of Shaheed Aitezaz.

Moiz Omar Jan 02, 2015 12:25pm

A true Pakistani patriot. We will never forget his sacrifice.

asif Jan 02, 2015 04:19pm

@Dinesh Singh

AHA Jan 02, 2015 04:39pm

A real of Pakistan.Respects to him and to his family who inculcated those values in him.

marwatkhan Jan 02, 2015 11:21pm

Our young fallen heroes, RIP aitzaz

Mahmood Hussain Jan 04, 2015 01:27am

Our Hero and all humanity is proud of Hasan brave act to save innocent children at school and gave his life. Almighty bless upon him Ameen

pakistani Jan 06, 2015 09:15pm

Well deserving