Pakistani officials say they are planning to build an amusement park in the city where Usama bin Laden was killed by US forces.
The Bin Laden City Abbottabad Amusement Park will be built on 50 acres in the first phase but later will be extended to 500 acres, Syed Aqil Shah, the provincial minister for tourism and sports, told AFP.
The project is estimated at a cost of nearly $30 million and real construction will begin around March this year.Pakistan officials claim it has nothing to do with the former Al Qaeda leader.
The 20-hectare riverside development on the edge of Abbottabad, where US Navy SEALs shot the al-Qaida leader dead on May 2, 2011, will include restaurants, a heritage centre and artificial waterfalls.
The government of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province hopes the project, announced as a public-private partnership, will boost tourism but denied it was intended to improve the town’s image after the humiliation of the bin Laden raid.
“It will have a heritage park, wildlife zoo, food street, adventure and paragliding clubs, waterfalls and jogging tracks.” said the official.
Abbottabad, a quiet, leafy town nestling in the foothills of the Himalayas around 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of Islamabad, has long been a popular spot for well-heeled families from the capital to spend weekends away.