A new cruel disgrace by enemy of civilization Saudis ! a fool who thought himself a prince shot 2000 an extinct houbara bustard birds and Pakistanis watched this mess.
Gulf Arab countries sheiks have long enjoyed close ties with Pakistan, but a Saudi prince’s recent shooting spree, which culled more than 2,000 rare birds from preserves, has stirred outrage in the country, just as Saudi Arabia propped up its economy with a $1.5 billion loan.
Pakistan’s English-language daily newspaper Dawn broke the story this week based on a forest service report, “Visit of Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud regarding hunting of houbara bustard,” which detailed a three-week safari the prince and his entourage took. In all, the Saudi hunting party bagged 2,100 endangered houbara bustards. The prince, who owns a UK-built 270-foot motor superyacht and has a website depicting his philanthropic ventures, racked up the high score: 1,977 rare birds.
The prince himself is said to be responsible for the deaths of 1,977 birds, which conservationists warn are on the brink of extinction, while his entourage are claimed to have killed a further 123.
The birds are globally protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
But the newspaper notes the country’s federal government has issued special permits to Gulf States royals in the past.
These permits usually allow holders to hunt up to 100 houbara bustards in 10 days in allocated areas, excluding reserved and protected areas.
The prince reportedly violated the permit by conducting parts of his hunt in reserved and protected areas and allegedly killing hundreds more than the set limits.
The flesh of the bird, which migrates each winter from central Asia to Pakistan, is believed by some to have aphrodisiac qualities.
The houbara bustard appears on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List as vulnerable to extinction, with Pakistan’s population of 110,000 feared to be decreasing by 30 percent a year. The prince’s hunting party pursued the bustards on bird and wildlife sanctuaries and unprotected land across Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province.
The birds are globally protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. Pakistan’s government has long issued special bustard hunting permits to royals from Persian Gulf states, but they are usually limited to 100 over 10 days in certain areas, excluding reserves. The royal party apparently violated the permits and took down birds over the limit in reserves and protected areas.
Though the hunt took place at the end of January, Pakistan’s media did not pick up the story until this week. Not long after Baluchistan forestry officials wrote their report on the prince’s shooting party, Saudi Arabia loaned Pakistan $1.5 billion to help prop up its economy, effectively bailing out the Pakistani rupee and prompting the U.S. dollar’s worth to fall from 105 rupees to 97.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, has close ties to the Saudi royal family, spending time in exile in the kingdom after a military coup ended his second term in 1999. Prince Al-waleed bin Talal, Saudi financier and member of the house of Saud, has described Sharif as “Saudi Arabia’s man in Pakistan,” Reuters reports.
Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud – who is commonly known as Fahd bin Sultan – is said to have killed 1,977 near-extinct houbara bustards while on a 21-day trip to Chagai in Pakistan’s Balochistan province in January.,
“Is there any more ridiculous reason to kill an animal?” Naeem Sadiq, a Karachi-based activist who petitioned the Lahore high court to ban the practice told The Guardian.
“If it’s illegal for Pakistanis to kill these birds why should the Arab sheikhs be allowed to do it?”
After this year’s annual killing season ended in early February, Pakistan’s Lahore high court slapped an interim ban on hunting in Punjab province.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates the bird’s global population is at about 110,000 and declining at an annual rate of about 20 percent to 29 percent due to poaching and unregulated hunting.
An additional 123 bustards – which are covered by laws to protect endangered species – were slaughtered by members of the prince’s travelling party, bringing the total killed to 2,100.
The ongoing hunting in Pakistan has seen global houbara numbers fall to around 110,000 – with that figure decreasing by between 20 and 30 per cent every year.
After a particularly aggressive hunting season last year, Pakistan introduced an interim ban on killing the birds.
The move proved popular with local environmental campaigners who have grown tired of Arab sheikhs flouting hunting laws, but the Pakistani government appears to have subsequently eased the restrictions, issuing at least 33 houbara hunting permits already this year.
One reason they are likely to have done so is because Arab royals bring a huge economic boost to the poor regions in which they hunt.
They are said to travel in a convoy of private jets while on safari, with some transport planes given over purely to falcons and hunting equipment.
The sheikhs also make large donations while travelling in Pakistan’s poor rural areas – paying for new schools and mosques to be built, as well as funding the repair of rundown roads and airports.[adrotate banner=”31″]