Pak to declare as govt land where Osama lived

Islamabad: Pakistani authorities have taken steps to declare as government property the plot of land in the garrison town of Abbottabad where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden spent his final years before he was killed by American commandos.

The government of the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province has published notices in newspapers asking for objections to the land in Abbottabad being declared government property. The notices said any person opposed to the move should contact the district revenue officer within 15 days.

Bin Laden was killed in the compound, located a short distance from the elite Pakistan Military Academy, by a team of US Navy SEALs in May last year. Thousands of people visited the compound before it was demolished in February by the military, which feared it could become a shrine for `jihadists`.

If authorities do not receive any objection, the land in Abbottabad will be declared government property. There was no official word on what the government intends to do with the land. According to land records, the land was bought by Mohammad Arshad, a resident of the northwestern town of Charsadda who was killed along with bin Laden. US officials have said that the al-Qaeda chief lived in the compound for at least five years.