NEWS > BUSINESS > BIN LADEN COMPOUND BEING DESTROYED TO MAKE WAY FOR SHOPPING CENTRE
BIN LADEN COMPOUND BEING DESTROYED TO MAKE WAY FOR SHOPPING CENTRE
February 25 2012
Abbottabad, Pakistan – There are some places that have real resonance, real meaning because of their past. That is one strange characteristic of human behaviour, the tendency to attribute deep meaning to things which, essentially, have not meaning at all but it is something we do every day in homes, graveyards, and sometimes just in simple memories.
Some places are pleasant, while others are notorious, and sometimes those more notorious of places are better off, for the good mental health of the public, being destroyed rather than left standing. That is certainly on the minds of authorities in Pakistan as they undertake the razing of the compound in which Osama bin Laden was killed, hoping to wipe a dark incident off the map and out of their collective memories.
Of course there are other motivations as well with official hoping to use the land to develop new retail and office space after finding little or no serious interest from buyers for the property. While details of the new development are still fluid, the destruction of the former terrorist headquarters has already started and preparation for a fresh groundbreaking sometime in the next few months.
“It has become clear that this property has become little more than a grave, a place for onlookers and even mourners and this is not what we want. This is a large plot of land in a strong city and we want to ensure that the area is not being wasted and that is why we have decided to make this alteration,” said a Pakistani official. “We have no desire to live in the past and once plans are formalized, we believe we will have a strong business opportunity here that will benefit the entire community.”
Officials have cited increased foot traffic in the area since the death of bin Laden as one of the main reasons for choosing the site.
Construction workers have started to destroy the building with heavy equipment. A proposal to slam an airplane into the building was dismissed, citing costs and the risk to adjoining properties.
“We believe that this will be a great option and opportunity for the people of this great city and we welcome all businesses who might be interested in setting up facilities in this area. We have many of the details on our website and for all interested clients we can set up a personal tour,” continued the spokesperson. “We welcome all businesses, provided of course they respect Pakistani territory and traditions while applying.”
At least one American company, T.G.I. Fridays, has already signed a lease for the new building though have been protesting Ahmer’s Falafels which has also signed an agreement.
“In many ways this will really be the end of the whole drama. I mean not totally, but it’s a way for people in Pakistan and the United States to really put an end to everything that has happened over the last ten years and just move on, and of course make a little cash which will make everyone happy,” said Scrape TV Terrorism analyst Doug Davids. “I’m sure the people of Abbottabad will also be happy to put this whole thing behind them and move on, especially with all the new eateries and shopping space they will have. As it turns out, this whole thing will probably end up being great for people in that city and that’s nice.”
In a small nod to its roots, the new facility will have both Coke and Pepsi machines as well as an adult video store.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent