KARACHI: Several members of the Qatari royal family arrived in various parts of Pakistan to hunt the internationally protected migratory bird houbara bustard for which the government had issued them special permits, it emerged on Monday.

The Arab dignitaries have been allocated different areas in all the four provinces, where they are currently busy hunting the bird.

Each permit-holder is allowed to hunt 100 houbara bustard in a period of 10 days. The three-month hunting season began on Nov 1, 2016 and would end on Jan 31, 2017.

Besides former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabber Al-Thani, the special permits have also been issued to the father of Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and the emir’s brother, Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani. They have been allocated areas in Bahawalpur district in Punjab and Musakhel district in Balochistan.

A member of the royal family and former deputy prime minister, Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, has been allocated Loralai district (excluding Duki area) in Balochistan. Four more members of the Qatari royal family — Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al-Thani, Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, Sheikh Thani bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani and Sheikh Mohammad bin Ali bin Abdullah bin Thani Al-Thani — have been allocated areas in Dadu city in Sindh, Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Surab tehsil in Kalat district, and Barkhan district in Balochistan.

Published in Dawn December 6th, 2016