ISLAMABAD - A tourists’ camping resort commonly known as ‘happy campsite’—located at the doorstep of Rose and Jasmine Garden was one of the famous destinations for foreigners around five years ago. However, the same facility has now been turned into a ‘ghost house’ due to the continuous negligence of the city managers.

Camping is an outdoor activity involving overnight stay away from home in a shelter, such as a tent while the campsite or camping pitch is a place used for overnight stay in an outdoor area.  

On the left-hand of the entrance of Rose and Jasmine Garden at Kashmir Highway, there is a campsite dedicated for the tourists’ especially foreigners, who used to come and stay for a couple of days. Sources inside the Tourism Division of Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI)—a custodian formation of this site informed that the foreigners were regular in visiting this campsite and enjoyed the open-air venue.

“They were staying here, enjoying cooking and music”, a caretaker recalled, adding: “We were charging very nominal fee charges from them.”     

There are a total of eleven platforms to erect tents with the provision of electricity, separate washrooms for ladies and gents, a kitchen, a B.B.Q stand and a centre stage to enjoy bonfire in freezing nights of capital city.     

However, the same site is continuously being neglected since June 2013, when nine foreign mountaineers were killed by unknown terrorists in their camps in Gilgit-Baltistan. According to the sources inside the MCI, the Ministry of Interior had restricted tourists from staying here for the time being due to the security concerns.  Later, the law and order situation in the country improved but unfortunately the campsite could not be revived and currently it seems like a ‘ghost house’ while the purpose built structures are under the use of MCI officials.

With attention and little effort from the higher authorities, the site can again be revived for both foreign and local tourists.