A district and sessions court in Tharparkar on Saturday acted upon a local villager’s complaint and summoned members of the UAE royal family, who are in Pakistan for small game hunting.
Muhammad Yousuf, a resident of Lorio village, had complained to the court that Shaikh Ahmed Bin Khalifa and his entourage’s presence near Tharparkar’s Diplo town has greatly disturbed the lives of local residents.
Apart from the inconvenience caused by the contingent’s VVIP movement, the complainant had also claimed that Khalifa and others have been hunting the rare houbara bustard in the region for years despite not having the permit to do so.
It was also alleged that Khalifa, a relative of UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, had been using the hunting permit issued by the federal government to Al Maktoum.
However, the permit issued to Al Maktoum was limited only to Badin district, Jungshahi (Thatta district) and Dhabeji (Malir district) and did not allow him to hunt the houbara bustards. Despite their permit’s limitation, the visiting Khalifa group allegedly encamped in the Jat Tarai area of Thar.
The court has also summoned SSP Badin and District Game Officer (DGO) Ashfaque Ahmed Memon, who told Dawn that not only would he appear in the court but also submit a report detailing how the local hunting rules are being brazenly violated by the dignitaries.
The DFO further said that the royal guests had yet to end their hunting expedition despite the issuance of the court’s summon.
Meanwhile, Rangers sources maintained that the security provided to the royal family was on federal government’s orders.