Islamabad [Pakistan], January 2 (ANI): Ahmed Hassan, a 10-year-old boy, has filed a plea in the Islamabad High Court, seeking a ban on hunting falcons and other endangered birds in the country.
SAMAA TV quoted Hassan as saying in his petition, “No one should be allowed to hunt them.”
Responding to the petition, Chief Justice Athar Minallah said, “Hunting is not good for the survival of the birds.”
The petitioner had filed the plea in response to stop export of falcons to foreign countries.
The Foreign Ministry has asked for more time to submit its response.
Known for its dismal record of animal conservation, and “trophy hunting”, in Pakistan falcons are often used by wealthy hunting parties from the Gulf who travel to Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province every winter to catch and kill houbara bustards, said SAMAA TV.
In December last year, Pakistan issued a “license to kill” the houbara bustard, an international protected bird species, whose hunting is banned in the country.
Islamabad had issued special permits to the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and 14 other members of his family to hunt the houbara bustard, reported Dawn.
The houbara bustard comes under the “vulnerable list” of (International Union for Conservation of Nature) IUCN. It means that the species is threatened with global extinction.
Keeping in view its dwindling population, the houbara bustard, a migratory bird is not only protected under various international nature conservation treaties but its hunting is also banned under the local wildlife protection laws. Pakistanis themselves are not allowed to hunt this bird.
Pakistan used the hunting permit as a foreign policy card to influence dignitaries from oil-rich Gulf nations.
According to sources, the other hunters include the emir’s father, brother, the Qatari prime minister, an adviser, the brother of a former prime minister, and some members of the royal family, reported Dawn. (ANI)
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