-Pakistani government planning amusement park in Abbottabad.
Travel Business Review - 05 February 2013
The government of Pakistan is planning to build an amusement park in Abbottabad, the town best known for the fact that Al Qaeda's Osama Bin Laden was killed there by US forces.
Only after Bin Laden was killed by US special forces in a daring nighttime attack did the world know that its most-wanted terrorist had been holed up in that part of Pakistan for many years. After his body was given a quiet, discreet burial at sea, authorities moved quickly to dismantle the highly fortified house that sheltered him for many years, safe from the prying eyes of US special intelligence forces. The building was dismantled because the authorities did not want it to develop into a shrine to the slain terrorist.
However, the government is now intending to build an amusement city there, and the work is expected to be complete in about eight years time. The USD30m park will have a zoo and facilities for adventure sports. The 50-acre (20-hectare) riverside development on the edge of Abbottabad is also to have restaurants, a heritage centre and artificial waterfalls. The plan to develop the town has already received criticism from different political parties. While some do not want the town to be given any special status, the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa was at pains to explain that the development was solely to boost tourism and was not just a ploy to improve the town's image after the humiliation of the Bin Laden raid, about which Pakistan's defence forces knew too little too late.
Speaking to AFP, Syed Aqil Shah, provincial minister for tourism and sports, said, 'The amusement city will be built on 50 acres in the first phase, but later will be extended to 500 acres. It will have a heritage park, wildlife zoo, food street, adventure and paragliding clubs, waterfalls and jogging tracks. This project has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. We are working to promote tourism and amusement facilities in the whole province and this project is one of those facilities.'
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