LAHORE - Unlike in the past, 14 Qatari princes are allowed to hunt Houbara bustard in Pakistan. Only three Saudi and four UAE princes are also allowed to avail the ‘facility’.

Previously, only Saudi and UAE princes were used to visit Pakistan for the above said purpose, but this time Qatari princes took over the charge.

No concerned officer was available to comment on the situation that why Qatari princes were awarded VVIP protocol. Meetings were also being arranged between ruling family and Qatari princes .

The Qatari princes were allotted areas across the country except Kyber Pakhtunkhawa for hunting Houbara bustard .

The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa government declined Centre’s request for allowing Qatari princes to hunt Houbara bustard in Dera Ismail Khan.

The illegal hunting of the migratory bird also triggered the Supreme Court to take suo-moto notice after reports emerged that Arab nationals were involved in hunting the bird.

Endangered Houbara bustards made the headlines in the national and international media after foreign poachers were spotted in Balochistan hunting the rare dull brown bird.

The Punjab government would spend millions of rupees for the security of princes visiting the province for prey of Houbara bustard .

Punjab assigns 500 cops and 300 commandoes for the security of the visiting royals. However, the province made a request to Rangers for extraordinary security for these dignitaries.

The Rangers provided security to the visiting royals in Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bhawalpur. The Rangers has send Rs 7 million security charges bill, which the home department government has okayed.

On October 14, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved a special fund aimed at boosting the habitats of migratory birds, particularly the endangered Houbara bustard .

"The Migratory Birds Endowment Fund (MBEF) will be established in order to help conservation of habitats of migratory birds including the endangered Houbara bustard ," said the statement released by the Prime Minister's Office in Islamabad. The rules of the newly-established fund have been approved by the premier, and the Ministry of Climate Change notified.

The statement added, "Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Climate Change will coordinate the operations of the fund in order to boost and protect the habitats of the migratory and endangered species of birds."