Pakistan

ISLAMABAD (Web Desk) – Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday said that he never thought that the hunting of endangered Houbara Bustard would become a pillar of our foreign policy.


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“Never thought I would see the day when hunting of the endangered Houbara Bustard would become a pillar of our foreign policy”, Khan said on Twitter.

Imran Khan also requested the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government not to lift the ban on the hunting of rare bird.

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On Friday, the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the hunting of the houbara bustard, a rare desert bird whose meat is prized among Arab sheikhs as an aphrodisiac.

The issue has also cast a spotlight on traditionally close ties between Pakistan and its allies in the Arab world, particularly Saudi Arabia.

A provincial High Court in Balochistan in November 2014 cancelled all permits for hunting in the province, but the federal government headed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif — a close ally of Saudi Arabia — continued to issue licenses.

Last year, a three-member bench the Supreme Court banned hunting of the bird entirely, in a decision welcomed by wildlife campaigners.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature includes the bird on its “red list” of threatened species, estimating there are fewer than 97,000 left globally.

But the federal and provincial governments asked the five-member larger bench of the court to review the decision, claiming that controlled hunting was a tool for preservation and should be allowed.

In a judgement issued Friday, the court said it had set aside its original decision to ban hunting of the bird and that petitions on the issue would be listed for fresh hearings.