PESHAWAR–In an unprecedented move, the environment ministry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday fined a Qatari prince Rs80,000 after he was caught with three falcons in Dera Ismail Khan.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, whose party is currently ruling the province, tweeted on his official Twitter account:
Taking a jibe at the federal government, Imran said that the KP government is making all efforts to protect the rare species in Pakistan but the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had given licences and permits for hunting of the birds — that too against the law.
The PTI chief said this was the difference between the ‘naya’ and old Pakistan.
Gulf Arab royals taking over large swathes of territory in Pakistan to hunt the vulnerable species is not something new. Even the federal government issues special permits to members of royal families of the Gulf states to allow them to hunt the protected species, including houbara bustard.
Meanwhile, government for the first time has informed the permit holders that Pakistan will “observe a moratorium on hunting during the 2014-15 season to replenish houbara bustard stocks”, but conservationists keeping in view the power and influence of petrodollars are sceptical.
During the hunting season, royal families from Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia come to Balochistan’s Dalbandin, Chaghi and other areas for the purpose of hunting.
The royal family have cemented good ties with influential people in the areas for hunting houbara and other birds.