(AA) – A Saudi Arabian prince has arrived in Pakistan to hunt rare migratory birds, despite a court ban, local media reported Monday.
Prince Fahad Bin Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz, the Governor of Tabuk region, has already sent an advance party to a remote district near the borders with Iran and Afghanistan, where he will be hunting the protected houbara bustard bird, English-language daily Dawn reported, quoting foreign office sources.
In November a Pakistani high court revoked licenses earlier issued to Arab royals wanting to hunt in the southwestern Baluchistan province. The Baluchistan High Court ruled the hunting permits illegal after a petition was filed by local citizens.
Prince Fahad bin Sultan bin Abdel Aziz had been allocated the Chaghi district, where he reportedly hunted 2,100 houbara bustard last year sparking outcry from global wildlife conservationists.
Originally hailing from North Africa, the houbara bustard is a small-to-medium size bird which is also found in southern parts of Baluchistan. For years it has been the favored game for Arab royal hunters.
Arab royals frequently visit Pakistan – in both winter and summer – at the invitation of local politicians and government officials who arrange special hunting safaris for them.
In winter, they hunt migratory Siberian birds that settle around Pakistan’s warm lakes while in the summer they prefer deer and various mountain-dwelling animals.