Sunday Levity: Tora Bora becomes a tourist attraction

Afghanistan tries to cash in on Bin Laden’s legacy

So what if the Taliban destroyed the thousand-year old Bamiyan Buddhas?

The Afghan authorities plan to invigorate the country’s fledgling tourist industry by developing Osama bin Laden’s Tora Bora mountain hideout as a visitor attraction. Dr Hassamuddin Hamrah, the man in charge, believes that the caves which once housed Bin Laden and his fighters, together with the remains of mangled Russian tanks and crashed helicopter gunships from 1980s, will prove a tourist magnet.

But he said the plan was being undermined by scrap metal merchants from across the border in Pakistan who were taking the wrecked military hardware. ‘‘We wished to keep the artillery, tanks, aircraft and also the military posts and front lines. But the Pakistanis have frustrated our plans,’’ Dr Hamrah said. ‘‘They were coming and buying the metal scraps so a lot of people took these to Pakistan.” [IE]

Related Link: JK reports that Afghanistan’s famed Bactrian gold is all accounted for