“Tora Bora is already a world-famous name but we want it to be known for tourism, not terrorism,” governor Gul Agha Sherzai told the Sunday Times in an interview published Sunday.
The governor has plans to establish an array of hotels, investing more than USD 6.5 million in the project.
“I don’t just want one Tora Bora hotel,” says the governor, "I want three or four. Long before anyone had heard of Osama, Tora Bora was known as a picnic spot and now it can be both.”
Originally used as a hideout by mujahadeen fighting the Soviet Union in the 80's, Tora Bora later became the infamous hiding place of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who dug even further into the mountain ridge between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In December 2001 bin Laden and others from al-Qaeda fled to the caves as US forces invaded Afghanistan and were closing in on him.
Despite heavy US bombings in the area, bin Laden escaped, though the caves were badly damages and only three small caves remain intact.