Gushing water brings devotees, visitors to bin Laden compound

Published: May 2, 2012
A man drinks water from a tap on the site where Bin Laden’s mansion once stood. PHOTO: AFP

A man drinks water from a tap on the site where Bin Laden’s mansion once stood. PHOTO: AFP


In their effort to ‘wipe out’ Osama bin Laden, the Americans buried him at sea and Pakistani authorities razed his compound – but neither succeeded in erasing him from popular imagination.

The slain al Qaeda chief, on the contrary, is evolving from fact to myth in Pakistani narrative and his compound in Abbottabad’s Bilal Town, known locally as the Waziristan Haveli, appears to have gained spiritual ascendance.

Gushing water, visitors

“There is some spirituality about this place since water keeps gushing forth without the use of an electric motor,” said Omar Khan, a resident of Abbottabad.

While the source may be a water line fractured during the razing of the compound, it hasn’t stopped some from according it the status of a ‘miracle.’

It’s a miracle that water gushes forth like a spring because those killed at this place were innocent people, Khan says.

While he does not necessarily believe that those killed in the raid were bin Laden, his couriers and son, he says those killed were “some innocent Muslims” nonetheless.

And for all their efforts to prevent the site from becoming a shrine, people throng to the razed compound to offer fateha – prayers for the deceased.

“Why should I not offer fateha for the departed souls of those killed at this place,” said Shahbaz Khan, another resident of a neighboring village of Abbottabad.

He said he was religiously bound to offer prayers for eternal peace of all Muslims.

Young children are also seen fetching water for their homes from the site. The razing of the compound has also offered a breather to local authorities.

While the compound stood, local authorities were under stress because they were asked not to allow anybody even around the boundary wall, said a police inspector.

Now, it’s no longer a no-go area. Guesthouses and hotels in town are filled to the brim with Pakistani and foreign journalists on the eve of bin Laden’s anniversary.

“Yes, we have 100% occupancy today,” said the manager of a local guesthouse.

Haripur avoids limelight

Meanwhile, neighbouring Haripur is attempting to avoid being attached to the slain al Qaeda leader.

“Recent media reports that bin Laden lived in Naseem Town are devoid of truth,” said Qazi Aneesur Rehman, a lawyer and a relative of the owner of a house that some foreign media discovered as bin Laden’s hideout in Haripur.

The reports, based on leaked investigations, suggest that bin Laden’s youngest wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sada, disclosed that before moving to Abbottabad in 2005, the family stayed at a house in Naseem Town, Haripur.

The house was taken on rent by bin Laden’s couriers, Abrar and Ibrahim, she had said.

Rehman denied that the bodies of the two couriers, killed with bin Laden on the May 2 raid, had any resemblance with those who occupied the house in Haripur for 11 months.

The house was rented out to a Pashto-speaking, well-built man in his fifties who introduced himself as Salim Khan, a resident of Charsadda, Rehman said.

The property dealer, who brought him the tenant, said it was a small family comprising two men – Salim and Javed – their wives and Javed’s five-month-old daughter.

The family hardly socialised with the neighbours and rarely stepped out to the markets, he added.

Rehman threatened to sue media organisations, saying the accusation has brought their property notoriety, a string of investigators, and stress.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 2nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Nauman
    May 2, 2012 - 9:35AM

    Stop circulating lies.This place Bilal Town has water springs, has got nothing to do with “Spiritual Springs”.There is no open evidence,he was there.We Pakistanis need no enemies while blessed with naive people like you.


  • Yankee Doodle
    May 2, 2012 - 9:52AM

    OMG!! A spontaneous water gusher? Was a saint living here??


  • Faysal
    May 2, 2012 - 10:04AM

    I belong to Abbottabad and I solemnly declare that there is absolutely no affiliation of people with OBL ideology in Abbottabad. They pity the guy who “may” have been assasinated in front of his family members, but do not identify themselves with his ideology. Please stop sensetionalizing the story. There was no protest or vigil at this death anywhere in Pakistan.


  • abbas
    May 2, 2012 - 10:56AM

    That is the most rediculous assumption ET could make and considering quality levels you guys meet u must look into such articles before publishing. Those who believe in OBL ideology do not believe acts like going to mazars or drink holy water from mazars appropriate and every one knws that very well. So please stop making such misleading assumptions and pple in general do not have much knowledge and then they speculate which cause no good to any one.


  • May 2, 2012 - 1:28PM

    I can expect this from ET…


  • Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli
    May 2, 2012 - 2:20PM

    Of course it was in front of his family. The nutjob used them as a shield.


  • Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli
    May 2, 2012 - 2:22PM

    If there was only some way to make it a sewage pipe, it would go down in history as the best prank ever.


  • May 2, 2012 - 2:48PM

    oohhh please…


  • Bakir Mukeem
    May 2, 2012 - 2:51PM

    @Super-Fool KaalCopterTanoli:

    OBL drama is by itself the best prank ever played by US on the world after 9/11………..


  • Rafay
    May 2, 2012 - 3:39PM

    Fact is guys, UBL was dead in 2001 due to a lung complication. All this drama is done by Obama to get his votes in the next election. The ‘sea-burial’ and refusal to show the pics is all part of it..


  • weirdo
    May 2, 2012 - 3:40PM

    ET is this news worth publishing ? Miracle ? seriously ?


  • Raw is War.
    May 2, 2012 - 3:47PM

    These miracles are everyday occurence in Mumbai suburbs. Especially when our municapilities take up repair work with diggers.


  • indian
    May 2, 2012 - 3:50PM

    the guy drinking the water looks absolutely pathetic.


  • OBL reply
    May 2, 2012 - 5:10PM

    OBL was a another big drama USA did after 9/11.
    I am sure after some years we will be watching the documentaries about facts of OBL act.
    I don’t think no one in Pakistan supports Al Qaeda and these stories are not up to the standards of Tribune.


  • May 2, 2012 - 6:48PM

    Just goes to show you can burn bury or even utterly wipeout these people from the face of the earth, but the ignorant can still make a shrine out of them. Sadness…Recommend

  • Atheist, India
    May 2, 2012 - 7:09PM

    “There is some spirituality about this place since water keeps gushing forth without the use of an electric motor,”
    The inventor of electric motor suddenly wakes up in his grave


  • Cautious
    May 2, 2012 - 7:28PM

    Probably leaking septic tank — hope he enjoys it.


  • May 2, 2012 - 7:29PM

    ET teams has a PhD in propagation and deception


  • HJ
    May 2, 2012 - 8:22PM

    lol…that water is hardly “gushing”…


  • May 3, 2012 - 1:07AM

    Pakistan Politics,

    “ET teams has a PhD in propagation and deception”

    I bet you has a PhD in English.


  • May 3, 2012 - 12:47PM

    I am a local resident of Abbottabad, We have lands over there. This area is called Orash and is full of water. People use big water pumps to extract the extra water that comes out of the foundation diggings, when they build houses. If you dig a 4 feet hole, you get water gushing outwards. The area was a lake once in past and there is a very healthy waterbed under it. Its not a miracle, these people are fools, they already know it happens in this area but the dogma needs no rationality.


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