Chitral - Two foreigner hunters hailing from USA and Switzerland have arrived here through a helicopter for hunting of Markhor and Ibex in the limits of Toshi Village Conservation Committee (VCC), District Chitral.

According to Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Wildlife Muhammad Hussain tht two foreigner hunters having proper hunting trophy and shooting licence are searching for suitable prey for the last three days. Mr Christopher from USA have paid $92000 and Rs10,000 for shooting licence as well as Mr Stacky from Switzerland who want hunting of an Ibex have paid Rs145,000 and Rs10,000 for shooting licence, he added.

DFO said that hunting trophy licence was issued after proper auction at international level by Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Switzerland.

He said that annually four hunting trophy licences are being issued for Markhor hunting and 80 percent of total cost are being distributing among local community and 20 percent being depositing in government exchequer.

Hence there is no permission for legal hunting in Chitral Goal National Park. But social and political circles of Chitral have demanded of the government for allowing hunting trophy licence in buffer areas of Chitral goal national park because the aged and ailing Markhors are already dying without any hunting or benefiting local communities. As well as some criminals are also involved in illegal hunting of Markhors at these prohibited areas as recently a Markhor was hunted by Islam Baig illegally, he further said.

He said if the government allows legal hunting in buffer areas in surrounding of Chitral goal national park for hunting of aged, ailing and weak Markhors who are already dying it will be best for public and government both.

Residents of these buffer areas will be benefitted from hunting trophy and they will feel ownership of these species and will protect them from illegal hunting, he stressed.