Target: Director of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Syed Haider Shah
Goal: Stop granting hunting permits that allow foreign visitors to kill endangered birds.
Hunters from the Middle East and India have killed the houbara bustard birds for decades due to the animals’ alleged aphrodisiac qualities. As a result, the houbara bustard population has drastically plummeted. Although it is illegal to hunt these birds in Pakistan if the hunter is Pakistani, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues permits for royalty from Saudi Arabia and other countries. The wealthy from other countries are free to hunt houbara bustards in Pakistan and often kill many at a time. For instance, Fahd bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, the governor of Tabuk province, and his entourage reportedly killed more than 2,000 houbara bustards in less than one month.
Experts say that the bird’s habitat and chances of survival are threatened by the vicious pace of hunting, but for Pakistanis, this hunt has become an opportunity to earn money and partake in diplomacy. Pervez Hoodbhoy, a physics professor and critic of the “Saudization” in Pakistan, states, “[Rich Arabs] come here, hunt with impunity, and are given police protection in spite of the fact that they are violating local laws.” So far, 29 foreigners have been given license to hunt these birds, including the kings of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, the ruler of Dubai and the Emir of Kuwait.
If these hunting permits continue to be issued, the houbara bustard birds will not have much time left. Please help save these birds from extinction by signing this petition to stop the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs from giving out more hunting permits to wealthy visitors.
Dear Syed Haider Shah,
Every year, foreign royalty and the wealthy come to Pakistan in order to hunt the now-vulnerable houbara bustards, whose population have declined rapidly due to these hunting escapades. Although Pakistan declared that hunting houbara bustards is illegal, it makes little sense that wealthy foreigners are exempt from this law. We have already seen the shocking damage of what one hunting permit can do; Prince Fahd bin Sultan from Saudi Arabia was issued a hunting license and managed to slaughter more than 2,000 houbara bustards in less than 30 days.
Wildlife experts are concerned that these beautiful birds will soon be extinct if your country continues to allow foreigners to kill them for sport. I implore you to stop the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs from giving more hunting permits to the wealthy in order to protect the remaining houbara bustard population. I also ask you to revoke the current licenses to ensure they do not harm any more birds. It is not too late to save this vulnerable species from extinction.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jimfbleak via Wikimedia Commons