A ski resort in Pakistan destroyed by Taliban militants nearly a decade ago comes back to life thanks to improved security and a wave of new investment. Eve Johnson reports.
From Taliban target to a new tourist attraction in Pakistan. This resort used to attract western diplomats and wealthy businessmen, until it was destroyed nearly ten years ago by militants who declared skiing quote "un-Islamic." Now gunfire's been replaced by the crunch of snow on the slopes and a wave of locals are flocking to a rebuilt resort, looking to try something new. "I have not seen snow before, but I am much excited about this," Usman Shaukat, a student said. Tourist officials proudly sell this place as the "Switzerland of Pakistan", but there are differences. Here there's a strict no-booze policy and there are checkpoints manned by armed security. "We can't compare with Europe, it will take a lot of time, but at least it should be accessible, there should be place, decent place, for people," local tourist, Athar Janua said. Militants still carry out attacks in parts of Pakistan, but a new middle class itching to travel is luring a wave of investment. Not far from the ski resort is the city of Mingora where the Taliban once hung their enemies from power lines. Today a luxury hotel is shooting up, complete with a mini-zoo. Some still hope to draw in foreigners with a taste for adventure. Like this crew of skiers - joining a competition hosted by the resort last month. A breathless local media hailing it as "the first of its kind."