Merciless Hunting of Houbara Bustard in Balochistan

Tariq Jamaldini                                                                          
The season of winter brings a hope for bird hunters because the frozen Siberia becomes colder and pushes the Birds toward hot Regions. Balochistan is one of those regions which is a magnet for the migratory birds travelling from frozen Siberia to find a little bit hot place for their survival.
However luck is not on the side of those birds as they are shot by the gun of a hunter. Hunters are wealthy Arabs and the victim is of course, the Houbara bustard, symbol of Balochistan. Balochistan has been a heaven for the traveling birds. Thousands to millions birds come here as the winter begins. These Birds include ducks, cranes, gooses, Sand grouses and Houbaras.
Zanginawar Noshki is a well-known lake for the travelling birds. The lake is extended 7 kilometers long and almost as deep as 70 feet. It is also a breeding place for the birds, the plantation in the water provides a sound environment for Birds to multiply their generation. But they are subtracted by the fierce hunting of the affluent.
The MPAs and MNAs use boats and sophisticated weapons to chase them. Beyond these waters in the surroundings, a game is also played to chase the Houbara, a rare bird, which is almost on the verge of extinction due the mass hunting By Arab royals. These sheiks travel kilometers far to reach here, as the season of houbara starts from November of 15 and continue to the end of March every year. They spend millions of rupees for their adventures. The safari begins with the planes, land rovers and land cruisers in the deserts. Their caravans are aided by the security personnel, intelligence officers, local security and tribal chiefs.
One kind of bazaar is decorated in the deserts. The region where they install their camps is totally cordoned off. Then the chasing of houbara begins in the grasslands and sands. The Arabs have made loyal friends for protection of their outlawed hunting. They are ministers, government officers and Sardars etc. They manage permits, Area and protection for hunters in return for monetary benefits.
A new trend has also started for attracting the Arab Sheiks’ attention in the form of advertisements in local newspapers. For example, one ad describes that “we welcome his highness in Chagai.” In reward those serving the Sheiks get cash, return tickets of the Gulf countries and worthy gifts. A special quota for hajj is also allocated for such loyalists.
Locals also get money from them, if they catch a houbara bustard or a Falcon. The sum goes up to 1,000 dollars for houbara and 2,000 to 4000 dollars for Falcon. Falcon is famous for Houbara hunting. This method is known as falconry. Other methods are also used for hunting. Using of falcons leave a small chance for houbara to survive. Shotguns are more common tools for hunting, both by Arabs and locals. Some locals hunt using a camel, as houbara is thought to be a camel’s friend. But the techno-equipped sheiks do not let any chance for the houbara to survive. The using of GPS and other sophisticated tools have made hunting so easy.
Who cares for the protection of these endangered species? The Arabs; who want to get the houbara at any cost, as they believe that Houbara meat raises the human desire of sex. Or government officials; who make a huge fortune by serving the Arab royals.
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