Dilemma over Osama site
A DISPUTE has broken out over the future of the site where Osama bin Laden was shot dead in 2011, with authorities pushing rival plans for a graveyard or playground.
The military has erected a wall around the 353-square-metre plot where the al-Qaeda leader’s compound once stood in the garrison city of Abbottabad, and wants to convert it into a graveyard.
But the local provincial government, which was handed the land after bin Laden was killed by United States special forces, is trying to redevelop it as a playground.
“We have secured this place from encroachment by building a wall around it and now we will develop this into a graveyard because there is a serious issue of unavailability of graveyards in the area,” said Zylfiqar Ali Bhutto, vice president of the military-run Cantonment Board of Abbottabad (CBA).
However, Mushtaq Ghani from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government opposed developing a cemetery in the built-up area.
“The government wants to construct a playground there. If we get the required funds soon, we will turn that place into a playground this year,” Mr Mushtaq said.
“You can’t develop a cemetery in the middle of houses.”
Mr Butto insisted the CBA had the authority to push ahead with it plans.
Elite US Navy Seals launched a helicopter raid on the highly fortified compound on May 2, 2011, killing bin Laden and taking away his body. Pakistani authorities later demolished the building and left the plot vacant.
Workers mark the edges on July 23 of the patch of ground where the house where al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed once stood in Abbottabad.