Six Qataris, Iranian arrested for poaching in Balochistan

Wealthy hunting parties from the Gulf travel to Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province every winter to kill the houbara bustard using hunting falcons. (Reuters)
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Updated 10 December 2019

Six Qataris, Iranian arrested for poaching in Balochistan

  • The arrested Qatari nationals include four members of the royal family, officials say
  • Wildlife officials have also lodged an FIR against local agents

KARACHI: Pakistani authorities have arrested an Iranian and six Qatari nationals in Balochistan on illegal hunting charges, a wildlife official said on Tuesday.

The accused, including four members of Qatar’s royal family, were apprehended at the Galangoor check post in the Nushki area of southwestern Balochistan province.




An FIR lodged against six Qataris and one Iranian for illegal hunting in Nushki, Balochistan, Dec. 9, 2019. (Copy supplied)

Deputy Commissioner of Nushki, Abdul Razzaq, said the Qatari citizens were traveling without a no-objection certificate (NOC) and had been shifted to the district circuit house after the arrest.

“The wildlife officials took the foreigners into custody as they were found in the hunting area without permission,” an official of the Forest and Wildlife Department, told Arab News, adding the Qataris were first spotted in a four-star hotel in Quetta but told the authorities they had no plans to go for hunting.




An FIR lodged against six Qataris and one Iranian for illegal hunting in Nushki, Balochistan, Dec. 9, 2019. (Copy supplied)

“They were warned that hunting is not allowed without permission,” he said.

The official said the wildlife department kept a vigilant eye on the Qataris, sensing an illegal hunting attempt.




An FIR lodged against six Qataris and one Iranian for illegal hunting in Nushki, Balochistan, Dec. 9, 2019. (Copy supplied)

“The accused have been booked and investigations are being launched,” the official said.

According to official documents seen by Arab News, the accused include four members of the Qatari royal family: Abdullah Jassim M. A. Al-Thani, Ahmed Ali Kh. Al-Thani, Mohammad Mansoor M. J. Al-Thani, and Khalid Ali Kh. A. Al-Thani. The other two Qataris have been identified as Salim Hadban H. S. Alfasal and Salman Saed H. A. Al-Marri, whereas the Iranian citizen is Soaoud Jaberi.




An FIR lodged against six Qataris and one Iranian for illegal hunting in Nushki, Balochistan, Dec. 9, 2019. (Copy supplied)

The foreigners have been charged with violating the 2014 Balochistan Wildlife Protection Act. 

A separate FIR has been lodged against their local agents. According to the FIR registered with the Nushki Police, when wildlife official Ata-ur-Rehman arrived at the circuit house to interrogate the foreigners, their agents Arif Badini, Qasim Badini, and two unknown men assaulted him.




An FIR lodged against local agents for manhandling and attacking a wildlife official in Nushki, Balochistan, Dec. 9, 2019 . (Copy supplied)

A few months ago, two Qatari nationals were arrested for illegal hunting in the Chaghi district, also in Balochistan.

In December 2017, 12 people, including four Qatari nationals, were arrested for illegal hunting in Nushki.

According to the wildlife department, the provincial government has fixed a fee of $100,000 for hunting 100 houbara bustards, and $1,000 for hunting one falcon. Currently, permissions have been granted to 18 hunting parties from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar to hunt the houbara bustard and other fowl species.


At least 105 killed, 96 injured by extreme weather in Pakistan

Updated 17 January 2020

At least 105 killed, 96 injured by extreme weather in Pakistan

  • The majority of casualties have been reported in Azad Kashmir
  • In Balochistan, all blocked roads are already open for traffic

ISLAMABAD: At least 105 people have been killed and 96 injured by avalanches, landslides and other extreme weather-related incidents, mainly in Azad Kashmir, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) confirmed on Friday.
The number of destroyed houses has risen to nearly 1,300 as rescue efforts continue and more reports are arriving.

Rescue workers clear a snow-covered road to make way for an ambulance to reach the areas affected by heavy snowfall and avalanches, in Neelum Valley near line of control (LoC) in Pakistan on Jan. 14, 2020. (REUTERS)

The majority of casualties have been reported in Azad Kashmir, where heavy rains and snowfall triggered avalanches, especially in the Neelum Valley area.
The avalanches and other rain-related incidents have killed 78 people, NDMA spokesman Saqib Mumtaz, told Arab News on Thursday evening. Fifty-six people were injured in the region.
“Food and non-food relief items including tents, blankets, first aid kits, tarpaulins, kitchen accessories, plastic mats and mattresses were distributed in the affected areas of district Neelum Valley,” the NDMA said in an earlier statement.

A man removes snow from outside his house after heavy snowfall, in Keran, a small town in Neelum Valley, in Azad Kashmir on Jan. 14, 2020. (AP)

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday visited Muzaffarabad, the capital city of Azad Kashmir, to review the ground situation and see the injured at a military hospital in Muzaffarabad.
In Balochistan, local government spokesman Liaquat Shahwani said that 20 people were killed in various extreme weather-related incidents in the province. “The situation is under control and all stranded people have been rescued,” he said. According to NDMA, another 23 people were wounded.

Rescue and relief efforts are underway on Jan. 15. (Photo courtesy: ISPR)

Five people died and 13 were injured in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while two people died and four were injured in Gilgit-Baltistan, according to the NDMA’s data from Friday.
Government authorities are working to clear the roads in the affected areas. In Balochistan, all are already open for traffic.
The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has warned that heavy rains and snow in northwestern parts of Balochistan may result in flash floods. The province has recorded the heaviest snowfall in two decades, according to the PMD.

Local residents carry water pots above their heads as they walk back to their homes after heavy snowfall in Khanozai area some 75 kms in northeast of the provincial capital Quetta on Jan. 14, 2020. (AFP)

A westerly wave has also engulfed the upper parts of the country, the PMD said in a statement on Tuesday, forecasting cold and dry weather in most parts of Pakistan and extremely frigid climate in north Balochistan.
Floods in Balochistan have reportedly affected the freight train service between Pakistan and Iran.