Saudi governor reaches Balochistan for 'houbara bustard hunting'

09:45 AM | 8 Jan, 2018
Saudi governor reaches Balochistan for 'houbara bustard hunting'
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QUETTA - An official and member of Saudi Arabia's royal family has arrived in Balochistan for hunting of rare migratory bird  houbara bustard in Pakistan, reported local media.

Governor of Tabuk Prince Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud was welcomed at Dalbandin airport by Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zahri's adviser Ubaidullah Jan and Saudi envoy on Sunday.

According to The Nation, the Saudi official went to his hunting camp amid tight security in order to hunt the rare species.

After his arrival, Federal Defence Minister Khurram Dastgir reportedly held a meeting with the Saudi official and discussed matters of mutual interest.

The authorities had banned the entry of journalists to the airport ahead of the arrival of the prince, while the local journalist community slammed the ban.

The Internationally migrated Houbara bustards migrate in thousands from Central Asia to Pakistan every winter, giving the Pakistani elite a chance to engage in “soft diplomacy”, as special permits are issued every year in order to allow affluent sheikhs to hunt the bird. This is in spite of the fact that houbara bustard hunting is officially banned in Pakistan.

The Pakistan Muslim league Nawaz-led federal government had also released Rs. 250 million for a ‘Houbara Bustard and Migratory Birds Endowment Fund’ upon the directions of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in 2016.