Saudi prince in Pak hunting controversy

Karachi: The government of Pakistan's Balochistan province was today forced to step in after a controversy over the visit of a Saudi prince and his delegation to apparently hunt the endangered Houbara Bustard.

The Adviser to Balochistan's Chief Minister on Forest and Wild Life, Obaidullah Jan Babat told reporters that the Saudi delegation led by Prince Fahad Bin Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz were in the province to review development projects.

"They are visiting development sites in Dalbandin, they are not hunting," Babat said after an hue and cry over the hunting trip which violates an order passed by the Balochistan High Court last November cancelling special permits issued by the government to hunt the endangered birds.

Babat said the government could not think of violating the court order. The adviser claimed when asked about the arrival of Prince Fahad.

The court in its order had banned the hunting of Houbara Bustards in the province after it was reported that a Saudi prince had last year hunted down 2,100 birds on a special permit issued by the government.

Babat admitted the government had appealed against the BHC order cancelling the permits.

Sources said the Arab prince and his convoy were being provided top level security by frontier corps, police and levies force.

Babat noted that under Wild Life Act Balochistan, 2014, the provincial government had the power to allot specific areas to foreigners for a limited period.

"But the Saudi delegation is not here to hunt they are here to review development projects in the area," he said.


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