ISLAMABAD: Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Syed Muhammad Tayyab has informed the Islamabad High Court that Pakistan has issued a permit to the UAE government to export Falcons in a spirit of friendship and as a goodwill gesture.
According to reports, he was responding to a petition filed by Dr Anis-ur-Rehman, former chairperson of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB), against a permit issued to export 150 Falcons to Dubai.
It should be noted that the federal government had allegedly issued a special permit to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, to export 150 rare Falcons from Pakistan to Dubai during 2019-20.
Islamabad High Court Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition and asked the Deputy Attorney General to satisfy the court on Falcon’s exports.
The Deputy Attorney General told the court that the UAE government had sent a written request for the Falcons and the Pakistani government had gifted them to a friendly country to strengthen fraternal ties and in the wider national interest.
“It was not a commercial activity,” he said.
On this, the counsel for the petitioner took the position in the court that the government does not have the authority to give permission or permits for the export of falcons.
The lawyer said that Shaheens have been declared an endangered species while giving permission is a violation of Pakistan Trade Control of Wild Fauna and Flora Act 2012, besides highlighting the law in the decision of Islamabad High Court dated May 21, 2020. In which the court has ordered to transfer the badly imprisoned animals to their natural habitat.
Meanwhile, when asked by the court, an official of the Ministry of Climate Change said that imports of 2005 falcons were banned.
In addition, Chief Justice Athar Minallah observed that the government had allowed the law in violation of the law, adding that if it was unavoidable, the government should have already relaxed or amended the law.
The Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court remarked that the government was committed to protecting endangered species and the matter could be referred to the federal cabinet.
Later, the court extended the restraining order against Falcon’s exports for another four weeks and adjourned the hearing.
It should be noted that falcons are protected under various international protection conventions, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and their trade is prohibited under local wildlife protection laws.