|16 May 2011
'Preserve Osama compound for sake of history'
By Zulfiqar Ali | From the Newspaper Dawn (Pakistan)
May 7, 2011 (2 weeks ago)
PESHAWAR, May 6: The reported plan of government to demolish the now famous
compound in Abbottabad, where Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was eliminated
in a US forces raid, will be a sort of disservice to history, as a known
historian and expert suggests that the building should be preserved for the
sake of history. The sprawling walled compound, where the world`s most wanted
and controversial character stayed, will most probably go down in the history
as a common heritage for the mankind.
You can`t change your history by demolishing buildings, known
historian Dr Mubarak Ali told Dawn while opposing the proposed demolition
plan of the Osama compound. He said that some places became famous either
because of their architecture or by some events, and such places should be
preserved. Germans have preserved Hitler period torture cells and Germans
have learnt from their history, Dr Ali observed.
Media has started quoting unnamed officials that the two-storey building
would be demolished. The compound situated in Thanda Choa area of lower-middle
class population has been the centre of worldwide attention after US Navy
Seals carried out a swift midnight operation on Monday last.
Dr Ali said that Gen Ziaul Haq had demolished the cell where Bhagat Singh,
the freedom fighter, was kept in Lahore. He said that the building was bulldozed,
but Bhagat Singh was still remembered as a hero. The noted historian said
that the US attack on the compound in Abbottabad taught that Pakistanis as
a nation should refrain from meddling in the affairs of other countries and
also look after their own national interests.
By preserving places like the compound in Abbottabad will help the
coming generation that how Osama was made a hero of America and capitalist
world before 9/11 and then he declared Enemy No 1, he maintained. These
buildings were solid proofs that a person who was nurtured by the Americans
finally became nuisance for his masters, he added.
Osama who has left behind a trail of controversies caused the world`s sole
superpower to launch the largest ever manhunt in late 1990s and was finally
poached inside a compound in Thanda Choa. Osama had also resided in posh
University Town of Peshawar for several years along with his fighters in
Other experts, who opted not to named, said that the world history was witness
to preservation of buildings and places used by despots and dictators. For
example, Germany has preserved the buildings of the Nazi period and converted
the infrastructure into famous museums not only to preserve the German nation`s
history but also to educate the coming generations. Sachsenhausen Concentration
Camp under Nazis located on the outskirts of Berlin has been converted into
a museum. These places, including torture cells, have been properly preserved
and are now part of the German heritage and history. Thousands of tourists
from across the world visit these sites every year.
15 May 2011
Hopes for bumper tourist season in Abbottabad
ABBOTTABAD: Pakistani hoteliers in the now notorious town where Osama bin
Laden was killed by elite US forces are praying the views and balmy weather
still reel in bumper tourist numbers this year. Officials say the bin Laden
episode might not dampen the inflow of tourists, since the peace of the city
was barely disturbed and business has continued as usual.
Indeed, said one, it might even be a bonus. I believe that tourism
will not be impacted rather, more people are coming to see the place
where the incident happened, provincial secretary for tourism and culture
Azam Khan told AFP.
13 May 2011
Osama bin Laden Kill Site Shrine
A Pakistani woman poses for a picture with her daughter infront of the final
hiding place of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad on May 5, 2011. Pakistan faces
the prospect of Osama bin Laden's final hiding place becoming a shrine or
macabre tourist spot unless the military destroys a compound attracting hundreds
of visitors a day.
The site in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where Osama bin Laden was killed on May
1, 2011 by the US military and the CIA is already a celebrated media and
tourist attraction and could become a shrine to bin Laden and Al Qaeda as
the most world-famous site in Pakistan. This would be a crucial closure to
the vast 9/11 memorialization in the US and elsewhere, a prime portion
of which remains contested at WTC for grotesque politicization and
Like other contested historic monument sites there may be short-sighted efforts
to erase the facility to prevent it becoming a shrine -- as evidence of the
crashed US helicopter was erased and Pakistani military and intelligence
officials rush to obscure their failure to prevent the attack, or to conceal
their secret complicity in it.
If bin Laden when killed continued to direct Al Qaeda, as the US government
alleges, then the site may be enshrined and promoted as the headquarters
of Al Qaeda in Pakistan (AQP).
These comments on the site and compound begin an expansion of the more general
and selective descriptions of bin Laden and his killing, some allege biased
and distorted media manipulation, by the US and PK governments characteristic
of wartime information management for public support.
This should not be seen as extolling bin Laden and Al Qaeda or to diminish
attention from the grandiloquent monumentalization of the World Trade Center
to which he and Al Qaeda will be immemorially if infamously linked. The dead
are joined in silence against the raucous living unable to stop yelling and
selling enshrinement and defilement.
This preliminary architectural commentary could be supplemented with more
extensive forensic, political, social, historical, archeological and
architectural investigation and documentation customary for historic
preservation. Design and construction documents should be located and preserved.
Photographs and measured drawings of the property should be prepared. Pakistani
military, intelligence and police investigative material shold be collected
Access to surveillance materials gathered by the US and its allied (including
PK) governments for planning and executing the operation - in particular
the audio-videos recorded by the attackers -- would be beneficial to describing
and understanding how bin Laden was able to operate at the site, seemingly
without detection, and what policies and measures were instituted to end
his life in the manner it was done.
Published bloody photos of three victims killed with bin Laden and their
rooms and furnishings are omitted here -- they are
They offer interior architectural information herein referenced and could
contribute to historical accuracy if materials from the US and its allied
(including PK) governments are withheld to protect secret accountings.
Area and compound plans and exterior facades provide overall views. Comments
on the facilities construction and details follow.
Bin Laden building allegedly violated building codes:
Pakistan allegedly plans to demolish compound:
obl-kill-mmo.doc Bin Laden Kill a NatSec Media Manage Operation May 8, 2011
obl-kill-protest2.htm Osama bin Laden Kill Protest Photos 2 May 8, 2011
obl-kill-protest.htm Osama bin Laden Kill Protest Photos May 6, 2011
reuters-dead.htm Reuters Photos of Dead At Bin Laden Kill Site May 5, 2011
so-kill.htm Training Bases for Special Operations Killing May 4, 2011
obl-kill.htm Osama bin Laden Kill Site Eyeball May 4, 2011