KARACHI: The federal government has issued a special permit to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to export 200 rare falcons from Pakistan to his country during the 2019-20 hunting season, it is learnt here reliably.
According to sources, the falcons of highly rare species — Saker and Peregrine — are used for hunting the internationally protected houbara bustard during winters in the country. Oil-rich Arab hunters keep a large number of falcons to pursue their houbara bustard hunting.
As falcons age with time, hunters need to change their aged falcons with younger ones that could hunt houbara bustard more efficiently. Hence, an export permit was requested by Qatar and duly issued by Pakistan.
Residents of colder central Asian region, falcons follow migratory birds, including houbara bustard, southwards during winters.
Keeping in view their dwindling population, trapping and trading of the falcon species are banned.
The sources said that by issuing falcon export permits the government was promoting and patronising underground black wildlife market as falcons could not be trapped, sold and purchased here legally. The falcons for export would have to be purchased from traders dealing in wildlife illegally.
The sources said that export permit (No: DCP (P&I)—18/6/2019-20 Falcons / Qatar), issued by the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol Mohammad Adeel Pervaiz, stated that the embassy might export 200 falcons from Pakistan to Qatar for personal use of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, Emir of Qatar.
Published in Dawn, January 4th, 2020