By Razzak Abro
The Sindh government is unhappy that the Foreign Office (FO) has issued hunting permits to foreigners in prescribed areas of the province and has decided to take this up at an upcoming meeting of the Inter-Provincial Coordination Committee, official sources told Daily Times on Wednesday. Thousands of foreigners, especially from Gulf states, have arrived in Sindh as hunting season has started. They are mostly interested in game from Badin, Thatta, Dadu and Tharparkar. Hunting season starts around the first week of November and ends the last Sunday of February. According to the rules, only partridges, grouse, waterfowl and quail can be hunted. Sources in the Sindh Wildlife Department said that the department had approached the Sindh Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Department with a written complaint, which had been forwarded to the IPC Ministry. The wildlife department has complained that the Foreign Office has no right to issue permits to foreigners, as these powers lie only with the department concerned in the provincial government. The wildlife department was of the view that the Foreign Office was issuing the permits without knowing which areas are protected or where hunting conditions were suitable. Furthermore, permits were issued at the union council level without considering whether the permit holders would remain in the limits of the union council or not. A permit is issued under a provision of the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972 for a Rs 2,000 fee for one season. A hunter is not entitled to shoot any game unless he is in possession of a valid shooting licence as well.
Thursday, December 28, 2006