Life before Abbottabad: Osama bin Laden saga lives on in Haripur

Published: March 13, 2012
Wife claims family hid in Haripur before relocating to Abbottabad. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

Wife claims family hid in Haripur before relocating to Abbottabad. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE


Osama bin Laden has put Haripur in the spotlight again after one of his wives said the family was hiding in Haripur district before moving to Abbottabad.

However, the lawyer, Qazi Aneesur Rehman, whose brother-in-law had built the two-storey house, said the new disclosure seems to be a ploy by certain “hidden hands” to keep the former al Qaeda chief’s memory alive after his last hideout was demolished in Abbottabad.

According to media reports, Osama’s youngest wife Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, told her interrogators that before moving to Abbottabad the family stayed in a house in Haripur. The house was taken on rent by her husband’s Pakhtun courier and his brother in 2004.

After Bin Laden was killed by US forces on May 2 last year, the same widow was reported to have said that the family had hidden in a cave-like house in Chak Shah Muhammad some two kilometres on the outskirts of the city

Rehman said Awan had stayed at his house with his children until February 2003 when he died of cardiac arrest and his family had to move. “About two months later, a local property dealer named Pir Muhammad brought two Pakhtun buyers who claimed to be Osama’s real brothers and their names were Salim Khan and Javed Khan. They claimed to be furniture dealers in Abbottabad.”

The men were given the house for Rs12,000 a month, he said, adding that the two brothers were reportedly reclusive and hardly mingled with other people. They stayed at the house for about 11 months.

“We never visited their house nor saw anybody from the family. We just requested them to give us potable water daily,” said Guljan Khan, an Afghan refugee living in a camp near the house. He confirmed that the men spoke Pashto, but avoided interacting with other people.

Khan had visited them once, but found nothing peculiar. “I never saw Bin Laden or anyone from Arab descent,” he said, claiming that the third person he saw there was a six-month-old girl in one of the brother’s arms.

According to Rehman, the property dealer who brought them said the two brothers have two wives and a minor daughter.

After Rehman asked the men to increase the rent from Rs12,000 to Rs15,000 they declined and left the house for an undisclosed place around April 2004.

Haripur’s District Police Officer Muhammad Ali Khan has rejected reports of Bin Laden’s family hiding in the area and said neither Osama’s family nor his couriers ever lived in the district.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2012.


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Reader Comments (11)

  • osama
    Mar 13, 2012 - 9:58AM

    This is a badly crafted drama by CIA, We do not believe on this at all.


  • vasan
    Mar 13, 2012 - 10:05AM

    “Haripur’s District Police Officer Muhammad Ali Khan has rejected reports of Bin Laden’s family hiding in the area and said neither Osama’s family nor his couriers ever lived in the district.”
    This is what Pakistani authorities have been saying all along ie “OBL was not in Pakistan”
    That is until the SEALS called their bluff.


  • Sajid
    Mar 13, 2012 - 11:32AM

    After reading this, close to a million questions arose in my head.


  • Mar 13, 2012 - 1:49PM

    Osama was murdered already in Afghanistan


    Mar 13, 2012 - 2:24PM

    Two PASHTUN buyers claimed to be real brothers of Osama————— who was an ARAB?. I hope somebody at ET applies a sanity check on news itms before posting.


  • Uzair Javaid
    Mar 13, 2012 - 3:03PM

    What about the reports that had senior US official claiming “we have Osama dead and iced” ?? this is all bollocks. They had to frame Pakistan, they created their safe-house and put in his widows in the house for the world to see. Why dint the SEALS take along Osama’s biggest assets – his children and wives?? my knowledge about the US is that they wont leave any of my family members live freely had i been caught putting a cracker up in a street of NewYork. Si this is a lame drama


  • Agnivesh
    Mar 13, 2012 - 3:07PM

    What a tragedy! Haripur, the abode of Vishnu, now served as the abode of the devil!Recommend

  • Mar 13, 2012 - 3:38PM

    so why should the ethnicity of the buyers be highlighted? what purpose does it serve in this report?


  • Mohammad Naeem
    Mar 14, 2012 - 10:18AM

    One cannot understand why should the author highlight the ethnic affiliation of Osama’s courier and expresstribune allow it? Is this not tantamount to ethnic profiling of Pashtuns? Has Pakistani media ever highlighted ethnic affiliations of David Headley Coleman, Tahawur Rana, Khalid Omar Shiekh, etc. not to mention not to mention ethnic affinities of Pakistanis involved in terrorism abroad, of Pan-Islamist and militant Islamist ideologues and founders like General Ziaul Haq, General Hamid Gul, General Javed Nasar, etc. and militant outfits like Jaish-i-Mohammad, Jummat-u-Dawa, Harkatul Mujahideen, Sipah-i-Mohammad, etc.?


  • Jabbar Khan
    Mar 15, 2012 - 12:04AM

    @Mohammad Naeem:
    And all Paki Punjabi Generals were making sure that is safe and sound so that he continue killing pakhtuns and their identity.


  • Cynical
    Mar 15, 2012 - 2:10AM


    Don’t worry man.Now that you have told us of how and why it is named Haripur, we will, with a little help from our Taliban brothers, make sure that it is renamed after some Islamic heroes and all the past memories of it is erased. Remember Bamyan statues in Afghanistan.


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