ISLAMABAD: The government of Sindh has informed the Supreme Court that its order of imposing a ban on the hunting of houbara bustard is not implementable.

A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justices Mian Saqib Nisar, Iqbal Hameedur Rehman, Umar Ata Bandial and Qazi Faez Isa on Thursday resumed the hearing of review petitions filed by the federal and provincial governments against the ban.

Sindh government’s counsel Farooq H. Naek said that hunting of the bird was permitted for 10 days only.

Justice Nisar said the court would decide the petitions in accordance with law.

He observed that courts didn’t deliver justice under any royal mandate, but they dispensed it under the rules and regulations.

He said if the law permitted, the court shall allow hunting of the bird, otherwise the ban shall remain intact.

Justice Isa observed that if hunting of the bird was a provincial subject then in which capacity the protocol officer of the Foreign Ministry had issued hunting procedures.

Referring to the tension between the Centre and the Sindh government on some issues, he noted that the two governments were on the same page at least on the current matter. Earlier, Attorney General Salman Aslam Butt told the court that the government was not opposing the whole verdict, but seeking permission for some sustainable form of hunting of the bird.

Balochistan’s Additional Advocate General Ayaz Swati endorsed the arguments of the attorney general and Sindh government’s counsel.

The hearing will continue on Friday.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2016

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