Thursday, February 5, 2015
Balochistan govt challenges ban on hunting Houbara Bustards as Saudi prince arrives
By Shezad Baloch
February 5, 2015
Sources in Forest Department say Saudi Prince has arrived in Balochistan and has already started hunting.
QUETTA: A day after a Saudi prince arrived in Balochistan to hunt Houbara Bustards, the provincial government on Thursday challenged orders of the Balochistan High Court in the Supreme Court (SC) which banned hunting of the rare birds, a senior official of the Balochistan government told The Express Tribune.
According to an official of the Balochistan government, the Forest Department of Balochistan filed the petition in the SC challenging the BHC’s orders to cancel allotments to Arab dignitaries, as well as a ban on hunting Houbara bustards.
Secretary Forest Department Balochistan, Khuda-e-Rahem, thogugh, refused to comment on the issue maintaining that the matter is sub-judice.
In November, 2014, the high court had cancelled permits granted to foreigners — including Arab royals – for hunting the rare birds. All allotments of areas to the royal families for hunting were cancelled by the court.
Saudi prince starts hunting
On Wednesday, the Saudi governor for Tabuk Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived at the Dalbandin Airport in Chagai district on a special plane. He was received by Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Provincial Minister Mujeebur Rehman Mohammed Hassani and MPA Amanullah Notezai before being driven to his camp in Ek Mach.
According to sources in the Forest Department, the Saudi Prince started hunting in the Ek Mach desert on Thursday morning.
“He had started hunting in Gutt Game Century in the Ek Mach area of Chagai,” an official said on condition of anonymity.
Most officials in Balochistan refused to give details as to why the Saudi Prince was allowed to hunt the rare bird despite orders from the high court.
Last year, a prince hunted as many as 2,100 Houbara Bustards contrary to the terms of his license which allows 100 Bustards during a ten day trip.
In that season, as many as 29 Arab dignitaries were allowed to hunt in different parts of Balochistan by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The Houbara Bustard have been included in the list of endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Arab princes have been hunting in the Chagai district for at least four decades now.
Posted by Baloch at 9:14 PM