Islamabad: Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday approved the country's highest civil award for a student who sacrificed his life while stopping a suicide bomber from attacking a school.
Aitizaz Hussain stopped a suicide bomber from entering his school in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province this week. The bomber exploded his bomb at the gate of the school, killing Aitzaz and himself at the scene. But no other student was hurt, Xinhua reported.
People from all walks of life, lawmakers, political leaders and members of the civil society paid homage to Aitzaz for his bravery and sought the national award for him. Thousands on social media also praised the student.
The banned extremist group "Lashkar-e-Jhangvi," which is blamed for killing of Shiite Muslims, had claimed responsibility for the planned attack.
The school was located in the Shiite-majority area, police say.
The prime minister recognised the boldness of the slain student and announced award for him.
"Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has advised the President of Pakistan to approve the conferment of Sitara-e- Shujjat to Aitizaz Hussain, a student of class 9 from District Hangu," the PM office said.
"Shaheed (martyr) Aitizaz's brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism," a statement from the prime minister office said.
Teachers and students of Aitzaz school also paid tributes to him and said he saved the lives of many students who were in the school at the time of attack.