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Pakistani court summons Arab prince, members of entourage for hunting protected birds

11:55 PM | 25 Jan, 2022
Pakistani court summons Arab prince, members of entourage for hunting protected birds

A court in the Pakistani city of Khairpur in the Sindh province has summoned an Arab prince and his entourage for hunting protected species of the houbara bustard bird.

The move came after a Pakistani citizen filed petition against the hunting of the houbara bustard.

According to the reports surfacing in the Pakistani media, the Khairpur District & Sessions Court summoned the Saudi prince and members of his entourage on Raza Hussain's petition. The petitioner has accused an Arab prince, named only as Hamad Zaman, of having set up hunting camps in Acharo Thar located in Nara Town to hunt the internationally protected bird species.

According to Hussain, when local residents tried to stop the entourage from hunting the bustards, they were threatened with "dire consequences". The locals of Nara Town have previously protested against the illegal hunting expeditions.

The Arab prince, whose nationality has not yet been disclosed, was summoned along with his staff and the SHO of Sorah Police Station.

Separately, Khairpur police detained around 40 villagers who were protesting against the hunting of the rare bird by foreign guests, which not only threatens the biodiversity of the Thar Desert, but also impedes their movement and daily routines with the arrival of the foreign hunters.

In November last year, activist and amateur video reporter Nazim Jokhio was tortured to death at a farmhouse belonging to two lawmakers. He had been caught filming foreigners hunting the houbara bustard and uploading footage onto social media.

Civil society organisations yesterday accused the prosecution of delaying the murder case due to the accused being influential people.

In 2019, seven members of the Qatari royal family were arrested for poaching the same bird species without a permit.

Despite being a vulnerable species, the Pakistani government allows Arab royalty to hunt the houbara bustard. Special permits were issued to Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and other members of the family during the 2020-21 hunting season.

The controversial expeditions span four decades as a form of soft diplomacy between Pakistan and Gulf states which has also brought investment for underdeveloped areas in the hunting fields and continued even after the Supreme Court imposed a blanket ban on hunting the bird in 2015, which was later reversed.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate against US dollar, Euro, Pound and Riyal - 23 February 2024

Pakistani rupee remains stable against US dollar and other currencies in the open market on February 23, 2024 (Friday)

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.45 for selling.

Euro comes down to 301 for buying and 304 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 75.95 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.25.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 23 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)

Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar ‎USD 279.5 282.45
Euro EUR 301 304
UK Pound Sterling GBP 351.5 355
U.A.E Dirham AED 75.95 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.25 75
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.60 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal ‎QAR 76.76 77.43
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.87
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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