Another Arab party in Sindh on 'illegal' hunting trip: official

A royal guest from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reached Thar to hunt rare species in the area, an official of the Sindh Wildlife Department told media.

However, District Game Officer (DGO) Ashfaque Memon said Emirati politician and member of UAE royalty Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum seeks to hunt without securing official permission to do so.

Memon said Mohammed’s royal entourage had landed at the Chanri Airport in Badin and proceeded to Thar. His group had set up camp at the Jat Tarai village near Diplo. He also said Rangers personnel had been deputed to provide security to the royal guest.

The DGO said the visiting party was in grave violation of rules and regulations as it was using a hunting permit issued to one of his relatives, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Memon disclosed to media that he was being pressurised from certain quarters to allow the party to hunt. He, however, vowed not to bow to pressure. He said his department had already been in touch with police and other authorities to dislodge the encampments set up by the royal guest.

He added that a warning letter would be handed over to Mohammed on Saturday and action would be taken if the hunting party refused to comply.

A few days ago, the Sindh Wildlife Department had expelled a Qatari hunting party from Thar. The Qatari party had, however, hunted in the deserts of Diplo and Nagarparkar for a few days before they were made to leave.

Soon after, the DGO had said that the department was being pressured by the federal government to allow a royal guest from Bahrain to hunt in the area.

Earlier in the month, eight people, including four Arabs and a senior district council official, had been arrested in Balochistan for illegally hunting the endangered houbara bustard near the Pak-Afghan border in Nushki district.