Aitzaz Hasan's family seeks security from govt after Taliban threats

15 Jun 2017

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Aitzaz Hasan in an image distributed on social media.— File
Aitzaz Hasan in an image distributed on social media.— File

The family of Aitzaz Hasan, a schoolboy who sacrificed his own life to save hundreds of his classmates by tackling a suicide bomber in 2014, has sought protection from the authorities after receiving threats from the Taliban.

On April 3 this year, the family received a threat letter from the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who wrote that Aitzaz was neither a martyr nor a hero and the media should stop presenting him as a national icon, the deceased's brother Mujtaba Hasan Bangash told DawnNews.

In the letter, the militants also warned Mujtaba against visiting government offices and talking to media personnel or "he will be responsible for [any] loss".

According to Mujtaba, whose family lives in the Ibrahimzai area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Hangu district, he wrote letters to Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, inspector general Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, IG Frontier Constabulary (FC) and Commander Peshawar Corps Lt-Gen Nazir Ahmed Butt and asked for protection in the wake of Taliban threats.

The authorities have yet to respond to his requests and provide security to the family, Mujtaba said.

Just after receiving the threat letter on April 3, Mujtaba had lodged a First Information Report in Hangu Police Station.

Mujtaba also expressed concern at the state of security of the school where his brother laid down his life in January 2014 and saved hundreds of other school children.

He said the government had not provided proper security to the school, while two private security guards are currently assigned the school's protection. The guards' salaries are being paid from the pockets of students' parents and teachers.

Mujtaba feared that militants might target the school again as they were unable to do so the last time due to his brother's sacrifice.

Aitezaz Hassan, a 15-year-old, became a national hero after intercepting the bomber before he was able to enter his school.

The teen died in hospital after the bomber blew himself up some 150 metres from the main gate of the school of 1,000 students, though no one else was wounded or killed in the incident.