ISLAMABAD-The Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday observed that there would have been no crime nor terrorism in the world, if humans had respect for ‘life’ and the will to protect the vulnerable living creatures such as the animal species.

The Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah made this observation while hearing a matter related to plight of animals in the Marghazar Zoo of the federal capital.

During the hearing, the Chairman, Islamabad Wildlife Board informed that most of the inmates have been relocated from the Islamabad Marghazar Zoo to appropriate sanctuaries. He further stated that the two Himalayan Brown Bears are not being accepted by the respective Wildlife departments of the governments of Punjab and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The counsel who appeared on behalf of the management of Balkasar bear sanctuary informed that the latter would accept the responsibility, if so directed by this Court. He, however, pointed out that the behavioural, social and physiological needs of Himalayan bears cannot be met because high altitude open valleys and pastures is their natural habitat.

Regarding Kaavan, the lonely and ill-treated elephant, it was stated that it is in good health and an internationally renowned organisation namely M/s Four Paws has sent a team of experts and veterinarians for finalising the arrangements to shift Kaavan to a sanctuary in Cambodia.

The Chairman of the Wildlife Management Board told that Dr Amir Khalil is taking care of Kaavan and all the other species, which have not been shifted as yet. The Chairman further informed that the Ministry of Climate Change has also extended its support.

In his order, Justice Athar stated that ‘life’ is the most superior form of creation of the Creator. Humans are gifted with superior faculties and attributes and, therefore, it is their duty to protect life in every form.

“A society which does not acknowledge this fundamental principle inevitably ends up in chaos and anarchy. The lack of respect for ‘life’ is the source of heinous crimes in a society, particularly against the vulnerable segments such as children and women. There would have been no crime nor terrorism in the world, if humans had respect for ‘life’ and the will to protect the vulnerable living creatures such as the animal species,” observed the Chief Justice of IHC.

He added that the manner in which living beings have been treated at the Islamabad Marghazar Zoo in the past may be a tip of the iceberg. It is ironic that food meant for the helpless inmates of the zoo was also reported to be stolen.

He continued, “It reflects a mindset, which does not have empathy for vulnerable living creatures caged in deplorable conditions.”