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Pakistan apex court bans hunting, shocks govt

pakistanbirdISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday banned hunting of rare birds like houbara bustard and ordered cancellation of all existing permits, a setback to the government which had previously issued special licences to the Arab royals.The apex court headed by new chief justice Jawwad S Khawaja also cancelled all existing permits issued for hunting purposes.

The decision, in response to a petition filed by an advocate, is a shock to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government having close ties with Gulf rulers.

The government had previously issued several special permits to rich Arab ruling dignitaries to hunt in Pakistani areas.

The issue of hunting came into limelight after a report last year showed Saudi prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud killed over 2,100 houbara bustard in a cruel 21-day campaign in clear violation of his permit to hunt only 100 birds.

Houbara bustard is listed in the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals, also known as the Bonn Convention, and is declared as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The meat of houbara bustard is considered as having aphrodisiac qualities by the Arabs. – From Press Trust India

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