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VIP poachers vs genuine hunters

October 19, 2012

THIS is apropos of the report ‘Khirthar poaching cover-up under way’ (Oct 10). It highlights the fact that laws in our country are made to be broken by most individuals in influential positions and those holding high public offices.

In fact, such individuals are assisted by corrupt government departments in breaking the law. The Sindh Wildlife Department is no different. There were countless examples of this in the past.

Not only is Kirthar a national park where no form of hunting whatsoever is permitted (with or without permission of the authorities), the partridge hunting season also officially opens on the first Sunday of November for the ‘shikaris’ of Sindh. Hence there has been a clear violation of the law.

In reality, there is a lot more to this story. Certain names have intentionally been omitted from the report that was presented by the Sindh Wildlife Department.

My sources confirm the presence of a sitting senior provincial minister from the ruling party and other high ranking government officials. This is the main reason why the wildlife department chooses not only to be silent on the matter but is trying its level best to brush the matter under the carpet.

It would be pertinent to point out here that till a few years ago government lands which fell under ‘areas open for hunting’ in the province during the hunting season were freely accessible to the common hunter, who would head out in his jeep to hunt a few birds. This is no more the case.

The reason behind this: ‘influential hosts’ as mentioned in the news report have illegally laid claim on most of the government land in the province.

The local wildlife authorities assist these influential locals by organising hunts for their selected guests (which include foreign visitors) and by scouting the area and stopping and harassing the common hunter who is doing nothing illegal.

There is hardly a stretch of land available where the common hunter, who pays the annual fee for his shooting permit, can now go to hunt a few partridges without being harassed by these corrupt wildlife officials at the behest of the influential locals.

As usual, it is perhaps now left up to courts to take notice of this matter and take serious action against all those involved to protect the interests of the common hunter of the province.

A CITIZEN (Name withheld on request) Karachi