Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s iconic tiger’s fate has been shrouded in mystery with no one sure about the fate of the tiger that had been paraded around in PML-N’s rallies as a show of might.
According to details, the rare white tiger had raised alarms for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who had complained to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) that the tiger was being treated cruelly at the election rallies due to exposure to excessive heat and noise. WWF complained that endangering a rare species must be banned by the ECP.
The media reports surfaced that the controversial white tiger had died, confirming many people’s fears that the tiger had died because of exposure to conditions that were unnatural for the rare creature.
Sources said that the tiger was brought unconscious to the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) in the city on Tuesday evening. The veterinary doctors tried to revive the animal but failed and the tiger died, sources claimed.
However, PML-N sources claimed that the tiger was alive and well and would be shown to the public in the last election rally of the party.
PML-N circles said that the nine-month old animal was owned by former PML-N MNA Mian Marghoob’s brother, Mian Zia. It developed a cough and was taken to the UVAS hospital for a check-up. Dr Zia conducted an examination, gave the tiger an injection and discharged it, they claimed.
According to a local newspaper, the doctor had told journalists that the tiger had no serious problem.
LHC IN ACTION: At the same time, the Lahore High Court (LHC) has admitted a petition by animal rights activist and actor Faryal Gauhar against the PML-N for the alleged death of the rare tiger.
A full bench of the LHC issued notice to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), Wildlife and Fisheries Department and others for May 14 on a petition seeking directions to stop exhibition of tigers in public rallies of the PML-N.
Earlier, the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the PML-N being allocated the symbol of “Tiger” by the ECP for its election campaign is in the consistent practice of taking tigers to its election rallies. This, apparently, is done at least partly to draw crowds and to assert political symbolism, he said.
He said such exhibitions of big cats, pose two immediate problems. Firstly, a species such as a tiger is endangered and deserves proper treatment and care. Secondly, the presence of a wild animal among people can cause undue stress to the big cat leading to unpredictable behaviour that can threaten the security and lives of people attending these rallies.
He said it was beyond any doubt that presence of wild and endangered species among a crowd presents a health threat of zoonoses (transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans).
The counsel said the issue was brought into the knowledge of the ECP for action to terminate misuse of assigned political symbol but to no avail.
The petitioner prayed the court to issue directions to the respondents to comply with their legal duty to ensure that no political party be allowed to exhibit wild tigers in public threatening the security and safety of citizens.