A Houbara Bustard | Commons
A Houbara Bustard | Commons
Text Size:

Islamabad: Pakistan has issued special permits to the Emir of Qatar and nine others of the royal family to hunt 100 houbara bustards, an endangered bird species, notwithstanding growing criticism in the country against the move, according to a media report on Tuesday.

Originally an inhabitant of the colder central Asian region, the houbara bustard, in order to avoid harsh weather conditions, migrates southwards every year to spend the winter in a relatively warm environment in Pakistan.

Quoting sources, the Dawn News reported that the permits have been issued for the 2019-20 hunting season by the foreign ministry’s deputy chief of protocol, Mohammad Adeel Pervaiz.

The permit holders are Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, his uncle, brother and seven other royal dignitaries of the oil-rich Gulf nation.

The permits are issued every year to members of the royal families of the Gulf countries, despite growing criticism in Pakistan against the hunting of the endangered bird species, the report said.

Also read: This egg hunt in Jaisalmer is no game. It’s a matter of life & death for a ‘great’ bird

The allotted hunting areas are spread over Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab provinces. The hunters can hunt 100 houbara bustards in a 10-day safari during the three-month hunting season between November 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020. The permit is person-specific, it said.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.


In the wake of its dwindling population, the migratory bird is not only protected under various international nature conservation treaties, its hunting is also banned under local wildlife protection laws. Pakistanis are not allowed to hunt this bird.

The hunting of the houbara bustard is used as a foreign policy tool by the Pakistan government, which allows influential nationals of the Arabian Gulf nations to hunt the bird for a price tag of USD 100,000, the Ary News reported.

Last week, seven Qatari nationals, including four members of the royal family, were arrested for attempting to enter Nushki district in Balochistan for hunting the endangered avian species without permission of the Foreign Office.

Also read: Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf gets death sentence for high treason


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here