Abbottabad, with a population of less than 200,000, is a small city by our standard. Located at the height of 1,256 meters, it is a hill station with pleasant weather during summer. Since independence, its main reputation was as the hometown of the military academy. Unfortunately, the town got undesirable reputation when it became known all over the world after the incident of May 2 this year as the place where Osama bin Ladin lived for some time. We must remove the stigma that Americans attached to it. The name of the city has no association with the history and culture of the area. It was built in 1853 as a military post of the British army. It was named after Maj. James Abbott only because he happened to be the first Deputy Commissioner of the district, from 1849 until April 1853. We should have changed the name of Abbottabad, when we gave new names to several cities that were named after colonial rulers. Some examples of the name changes: Attock (formerly Campbellpur), Sahiwal (Montgomery) and Zhob (Fort Sandeman). We should do it now. The Provincial Government should ask the people of Abbottabad to suggest a new name. The name with the largest local support may be adopted officially. MUHAMMAD ABD AL-HAMEED, Lahore, August 25.