KARACHI: The federal government has issued special permits to United Arab Emirates President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and four other members of the ruling family to hunt the internationally protected houbara bustard during the 2019-20 hunting season, it is learnt.
According to sources, besides the UAE president, the names on the hunters’ list include his brothers and another member of the royal family. Sheikh Khalifa has been allocated hunting areas in three provinces — Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab.
The sources said that the hunting permits, issued by the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol Mohammad Adeel Pervaiz, were delivered to the UAE Embassy in Islamabad so that these could be sent to the hunters.
According to the permits, Sheikh Khalifa has been allocated Sukkur, Ghotki, Sanghar and Nawabshah districts in Sindh; Panjgur, Kharan (except Nag Dara breeding area), Washuk (excluding Mashkhel) Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar, Zhob, tehsil Lehri of Sibi (Domki area only) in Balochistan; and Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur and Chakwal districts in Punjab.
The sources said that while all the special hunting permits were person-specific and only one person could hunt under these permits, in the case of UAE President Sheikh Khalifa, the name of his brother and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan — who is also the deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces — had also been mentioned in the permit so that he could also hunt houbara bustard under the same permit in the same areas. Sheikh Mohammad hunted the migratory bird prior to meeting Prime Minister Imran Khan in the federal capital a few days ago, added the sources.
Sheikh Khalifa’s brother and UAE Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has been allocated Khairpur district (including Kot Diji, not across Nara Canal).
The ruler’s representative in the Western Region Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al-Nahyan has been allocated tehsils Khairpur Nathan Shah and Johi, and union council Fareedabad in Dadu district, Ghaibi Dero in Larkana district, Shahdadkot district and Khairpur district across Nara Canal to hunt the migratory bird, which is considered to be an aphrodisiac by the Arab hunters.
A member of the UAE’s ruling family, Sheikh Saif bin Mohammad bin Butti Al-Hamed, has been allocated Duki area in Loralai district of Balochistan for hunting the protected bird, added the sources.
Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2020