Ski resort gives Pakistan tourism a lift

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Now gunfire's been replaced by the crunch of snow on the slopes and a wave of locals are flocking to a rebuilt resort, looking to try something new.

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Skiing in Pakistan
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Skiing in Pakistan

Retired Malam Jabba engineer Akbar Ali skis down the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A general view shows a hotel under construction and the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017.

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

Policemen watch as a man rides an inner tube on the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A boy sits in his chair as he waits for customers to rent skis at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A policeman walks on the edges of the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A ski instructor stands on the front of skis to guide his student down the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. Picture taken February 7, 2017. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

A man rides the chair lift at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A man picks up a set of skis and boots at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A man rides an inner tube on the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017.

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A man skis in the powder snow at the top of the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

Customers and inner tube renters rest on the side of the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

A man pulls his inner tube up the hill for his customer on the piste at the ski resort in Malam Jabba, Pakistan February 7, 2017. 

(REUTERS/Caren Firouz)

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"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."


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