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LHC asks for houbara hunting permits records

LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Wednesday expressed dismay with the lawyer representing the Punjab government for not presenting the provincial cabinet’s records regarding the approval of permits given to Qatari dignitaries to hunt the internationally protected houbara bustard.

Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah directed the government’s counsel to present the required records on Thursday (today) without fail and summoned the secretary of the wildlife department.

While hearing a petition against the issuance of hunting permits to members of the royal family of Qatar, the chief justice said the court wanted to know why hunting permits had been issued only to foreign dignitaries. He asked the law officer to explain if the government had granted permits to hunt the endangered bird in order to favour foreign dignitaries.

Earlier, Advocate Sardar Kalim Ilyas, on behalf of the petitioner, said the government had violated several international laws by awarding hunting permits to Qatari princes. He said the government had issued the permits without the cabinet’s approval, which is mandatory under the law.

He argued that the government had misinterpreted a judgement of the Supreme Court to issue the hunting permits.

Presenting the operative part of the apex court’s judgement, Advocate Ilyas said the government had not been given permission to allow hunting of internationally protected birds. The counsel requested the court to set aside the hunting permits granted to the royal family of Qatar.

Hearing another similar petition, the chief justice allowed the petitioner to make amendments to the complaint.

courtesy : dawn news



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