Court Forms Body To Determine Houbara Sustainability
The Lahore High Court has constituted a commission to determine whether hunting permits being issued to foreign dignitaries by the government ensure sustainability of the houbara bustard, an internationally protected bird.
Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah has formed the commission after hearing two identical petitions challenging the issuance of permits for hunting the protected bird.
Senior lawyer Dr Pervez Hassan would chair the commission while officials of the Punjab Wildlife Department, Houbara Foundation, petitioners, residents of hunting areas, World Wildlife Organization and non-governmental organizations would constitute as members. The Chief Justice has directed the commission to submit its first report after a month.
Kaleem Ilyas and Advocate Sheraz Zaka had filed the petitions pleading that the authorities had been issuing hunting permits to foreign dignitaries misinterpreting a judgment of the Supreme Court.
They said the apex court in its judgment had observed that the government while giving permits in a particular area must take into consideration what steps had been taken by the licensee(s) to economically develop the hunting areas. They asked the court to put a ban on the hunting of the protected bird.
Previously published in DAWN and republished here with permission.