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The Finance Division on Thursday released Rs250 million for a 'Houbara Bustard and Migratory Birds Endowment Fund' upon the directions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

In October, the prime minister had approved the fund, which aims at boosting the habitats of migratory birds, particularly the endangered Houbara bustard. The fund will be used to increase the population of migratory birds in the country.

The Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Climate Change will coordinate with the provinces to operationalise the fund.

Last week, the federal government had issued special permits to three princes from Saudi Arabia to hunt the houbara bustard, an internationally protected bird, in Balochistan and Punjab during the hunting season.

The hunting permit holders include the governor of Tabuk and two sons of the former ruler of Saudi Arabia, the late King Saud bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

The houbara bustard is not only protected under various international conventions and agreements signed by Pakistan, its hunting is also banned under local wildlife protection laws.