Special permits issued to Qatari royal for houbara hunting

KARACHI: The federal government has issued special permits to Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and 14 other members of his family to hunt internationally protected houbara bustard during the 2020-21 hunting season, it is learnt here reliably.

According to sources, the other hunters include the emir’s father, brother, the Qatari prime minister, an adviser, the brother of a former prime minister and some members of the royal family.

The sources said that the clout of the Qataris in Pakistan could be gauged from the fact that while the official files, summaries, etc, move at a glacial speed in the country, the permission “requested” for a couple of additional hunting areas for the emir was given to him within five days after it was received.

They said the areas allocated to the emir’s father, on his desire, were also swapped with those that were earlier allocated to a relatively less important member of the royal family, within five days.

The sources said the permits issued by the deputy chief of protocol (P&I) at the foreign ministry on Oct 16 were delivered to the Embassy of Qatar in Islamabad so that these could be sent to the hunters belonging to the tiny Gulf state.

The sources said that according to the permits, Emir of State of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani has been allocated Jhang district in Punjab and Kashmore and Matyari districts in Sindh. He wanted a couple of more hunting areas so his desire was communicated on Oct 22 and 26 and he was allotted the desired areas — Islamkot and Deplo tehsils in Sindh’s Thar desert. The emir’s father, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, had been allocated Bahawalnagar district, excluding Fort Abbas, in Punjab, but since he did not like the area, it was swapped with that of Sheikh Jassim bin Faisal bin Qasim bin Faisal Al-Thani, who was originally allocated Khushab district in Punjab.

The emir’s brother, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has been given Musakhel and Darug tehsils in Musakhel district of Balochistan.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz has been allocated Jacobabad district in Sindh. Emir’s adviser Sheikh Mohammad bin Khalifa Al-Thani has been given Loralai district (less Duki area) in Balochistan.

Former prime minister’s brother Sheikh Falah bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani and another relative Sheikh Fahad bin Falah bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani have jointly been allocated Jhal Magsi district in Balochistan.

A royal family member, Sheikh Faisal bin Nasser bin Hamad Al-Thani, has been allotted Qila Saifullah district, including Kakar Khurasan and Qamardin Karez, in Balochistan.

The names of other royal family members and the areas allocated to them are: Sheikh Mohammad bin Ali bin Abdullah Al-Thani (Barkhan district); Sheikh Thani bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani (Surab tehsil in Kalat district); Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Thani Al-Thani (Turbat/Kech district); Sheikh Khalid bin Thani Al-Thani (Dadu city); Sheikh Fahad bin Abdul Rehman bin Hamad Al-Thani (Naseerabad in Balochistan); and Faisal bin Qasim bin Faisal Al-Thani (Dera Bugti district in Balochistan).

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2020

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