The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has banned the hunting of Houbara bustards after the federal government contacted the KP government for allowing the Qatari Princes hunt the Houbara bustard bird in KP.
Following the directives of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan, KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak issued directions to Wildlife Department for banning hunting of the precious migratory bird in the province.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Pervez Khattak, also said in his statement that the federal government contacted the KP government to allow the Qatri Princes for the hunting of Houbara bustard birds in KP.
He added that no one would be allowed to hunting the precious birds and if anyone violates he rules he would be facing serious consequences.
The CM warned that the provincial government would not take any pressure and would not allow or permit anyone who eliminates “our natural heritage and precious birds”.
Houbara bustard or the North African houbara are a shy, rare bird breed having the size of a chicken. Hunting them is officially banned in Pakistan but it is no holds barred when Arab royals begin their hunting trips.
A 12-memebr delegation of Qatari royals arrived in Pakistan on Dec 3 and hunting rare birds in southern Punjab. They have been issued special permits for the controversial hunting by the federal government despite widespread criticism.
The ban by the PTI-led government in KP would cause embarrassment to the PML-N government which has reportedly also issued a special permit to at least one royal, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, for hunting houbara bustard in Dera Ismail Khan district of KP.
The central government has permitted the Qatari sheikh to hunt 100 houbara bustards in 10 days during the 2016-2017 season, which started on Nov 1 and would conclude on Jan 31, 2017.
The Qatari royals visiting Pakistan include Prince Hamad Bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, who wrote a letter for the PM’s family to justify their stance on London flats purchase in Panama leaks case.
They were received at the airport by Hasan Nawaz, son of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and taken to the Sharifs’ Jati Umra residence at Raiwind where the premier hosted a luncheon for them. From there they went on the hunting spree for rare birds in Bhakkar district of Punjab the same day, hours after their arrival in Lahore.
PML-N leader Talal Chaudhry had earlier defended the hunting expedition, saying there was nothing wrong in it. “The hunting of houbara bustard is in practice in Pakistan for decades,” he was quoted as saying. Adviser to the KP Chief Minister on Forests Ishtiaq Urmar yesterday confirmed the ban imposed by KP government. “No one would be allowed to violate the law,” he warned. The adviser said after the 18th amendment, every province has the right to protect its wildlife.