By National News Desk
The Pakistan government has introduced at least seven special permits to Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and six other members of the ruling family to hunt the internationally protected houbara bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season, according to a media report on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who earlier opposed such permits for the Arab royalties, personally approved the special pass this time, said Dawn newspaper.
The Deputy Chief of Protocol of the Foreign Ministry issued the documents, after approval by the Prime Minister, a daily list of sources. Permits were issued to the UAE Embassy in Islamabad.
Apart from Dubai ruler Rashid Al-Maktoum, the other allowed are Crown Prince, Deputy Ruler and Minister of Finance and Industry, Deputy Chief of Police, Army Officer, two other members of the royal family and a businessman.
Khan, when in opposition, campaigned against such hunting trips by rich Arab families who annually visit Pakistan to hunt the endangered bird.
The Saudi prince, Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, is said to have killed 1,977 birds in reserved and protected areas for 21 days in January 2014, while other members of his party killed another 123 birds, bringing the total to 2,100.
The killing resulted in a lot of criticism, but the practise has been going on. The meat of the bird is considered an aphrodisiac by the Arabs.