Pakistan has permitted Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and two other members of the royal family to hunt the internationally protected houbara bustards during the hunting season 2020-21.
The hunters had been allocated certain hunting areas in two provinces – Balochistan and Punjab, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The houbara bustard is a resident of the colder Central Asian region. It migrates southwards every year to spend its winters in a relatively warmer environment in Pakistan.
Arab hunters are specially invited by the Pakistan government to hunt them.
Owing to its dwindling population, the houbara is not only protected under various international nature conservation treaties but is also protected under local wildlife protection laws. Pakistanis are not allowed to hunt it.
When Pakistan PM Imran Khan was in the opposition, he used to criticise the then federal government for issuing houbara hunting permits and had not allowed houbara hunting in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ruled, but now has issued the permits to hunters from Saudi Arabia.