One is schoolboy Aitzaz Hassan, 17, who foiled a suicide bomb attack in an act of “bravery” that cost him his life.
The other is Taliban-chaser police officer Chaudhry Aslam who died in a suicide bomb attack in Karachi.
“My son did a heroic job and I am proud of his bravery,” said the boy’s grieving father, Mujahid Ali.
The teenager challenged the would-be bomber at the school entrance of the state-run Ibrahimzai High School, in the Hangu district of Pakistan’s volatile Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region.
After a “physical” scuffle, the bomber – wearing a jacket carrying about 13 pounds of explosives – detonated the device, killing the teenager instantly.
“The bomber was dressed in school uniform and asked Aitazaz Hassan about school. He asked him why he wanted to enter the school, he told him he wanted to see the principal and that got Aitzaz suspicious and he engaged in a physical clash with him,” a teacher recalled.
Tributes were paid to the boy on social media Thursday, with the hashtag #onemillionaitzazs trending on Twitter in Pakistan and elsewhere.
You don’t need a uniform to be brave; you don’t need a party to create change; meet Aitzaz, Pakistan’s new hero #onemillionaitzazs, tweeted Wajahat S. Khan.
An anti-Shia sectarian militant organization, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility for Monday’s botched attack. It is thought Shia students at the school were the intended targets.
Meanwhile, TTP (Mohmand Agency) claimed responsibility of the Karachi blast in which CID officer Aslam was killed alongwith three other police officers.
Aslam was Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) of Central Investigation Department (CID). An explosive-laden car rammed into his police vehicle on Lyari Espressway near Essa Nagri in the metropolis, according to initial investigation.
Aslam had addressed the media after conducting a successful raid in Manghopir area, killing three terrorists.
Several attacks had previously targeted SSP Aslam.
On September 19, 2011, a suicide attack targeting his residence was carried out in Karachi. Addressing the media after the incident, Chaudhry Aslam had said, “I will bury the attackers in the same place.”.
In January 2006, gunmen attacked Aslam in Gizri area of Defense Society.
As head of the Anti-Extremist Cell of the CID, Aslam was the formidable face of Karachi police. An officer who rose to the ranks of SP without proper qualification, who reached the heights of his career by killing criminals in encounters, who dared to smoke even in front of television cameras. But when it came to catching militants, they say he was the best.
Media called Aslam “Karachi’s Iron Man” and “Super Cop”. He caught criminals of the likes of Saulat Mirza, Ajmal Pahari and Rehman Dakait.
Aslam was known to his colleagues by several names, ‘encounter specialist’, ‘baba police’, ‘yaaron ka yaar’ [friend of friends].