What is expected of a person who faces a suicide bomber? Are we to run and seek shelter? Warn others of the threat to their lives? Or just stand back and watch the destruction from a safe distance? The last option, which does not occur to most of us, and is easily the hardest is standing your ground and fighting back. Aitzaz Hassan did just that. A 14 year-old, gave his life to save his schoolmates from the terrorist that wanted to kill them all. He chose not to take the convenient option of doing nothing, and instead, when everyone else ran, he stood heroically and managed to keep the bomber outside his school. His sacrifice meant his life was the only one lost on that day, where this could have easily been a bloodbath.

The reason for terrorists taking their own lives while wreaking havoc on the lives of others is very straightforward; with their death, they convey to the public that they fear nothing. Their own lives mean nothing to them. Nothing holds them back and a sense of hopelessness begins to seep in society when confronted with this threat that seems almost undefeatable. This means that the terrorists have managed to do what their name suggests; they are feared by everyone. Everyone except a valiant few such as Aitzaz. He refused to be just another scared member of the public, and instead actually managed to stop an attack from taking place. Most of us have already surrendered to the Taliban, at least in our hearts because we believe that nothing can stop an attack from taking place, unless fortune is on our side. The precious few that are still fighting are dropping like flies.

Our twisted idea of right and wrong can also be clearly seen from the reactions of our leaders. With the last drone strike in the Hangu district, the place where Aitzaz gave his life, Imran Khan and many more like him were outraged to the point of making heroes out of the very people that want to kill us all. Where is the anger now, when a 14 year old had to die so that a heinous crime could be limited to just one death? Do you still want to talk to these people, these murderers? How many more children have to sacrifice themselves before we get a reality check? For the sake of Aitzaz and all the countless children that have been taken before their time, somebody from the government needs to take a page out of Aitzaz’s book and resist terrorists till they can no longer harm Pakistan.