Karachi: 2 MNAs booked for poaching
KARACHI: The Sindh Wildlife Department has booked two members of the national assembly belonging to the ruling Pakistan People`s Party for poaching partridges in a protected area. The SWD representative in Sukkur, Taj Mohammad Sheikh, confirmed to Dawn the partridges poaching incident and said that a case had been registered against the two MNAs. He said that the two MNAs, Syed Ghulam Mustafa Shah from Nawabshah and Mir Amir Magsi from Shahdad Kot, along with their two guests, whose names could not be ascertained immediately, had been invited by Khalid Rajpar, a resident of RD 463 Nara.
He added that they went to the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary and poached – by shooting with guns – 40 partridges.
He said that the poaching incident was reported by game inspector Deedar Bhaagat and later an inquiry was conducted and finally the FOR (34/471) – the SWD`s equivalent of police`s FIR – was registered against the poachers under Sections 7, 16 and 17 of the Sindh Wildlife Protection Act, 1992. He said that legal action had been initiated.
According to sources, the poaching expedition in the Nara Desert Wildlife Sanctuary was arranged by a former Sindh Assembly member from Khairpur district.
The sources said that poaching was probably practised as a family hobby of MNA Amir Magsi as his elder brother, who currently is a provincial governor, was also caught poaching in another protected area some time back and was booked by the SWD.
They said that Amir Magsi`s brother, Zulfiqar Magsi, who at present is the governor of Balochistan but was not the governor at the time he was caught for illegal hunting, along with his friends including Jameel Bugti, the son of the late Nawab Akbar Bugti, and others had also poached partridges in Khirthar National Park and was caught by the SWD staffers.
In the neighbouring Indian state of Rajasthan, famous film star Salman Khan has been sentenced to a prison term for poaching and violating wildlife protection laws.
However, the sources said that it was very rare that the influential poachers here were handed down stern punishments, though law prescribed long prison terms and heavy fines for the crime.
This encourages influential poachers to continue what could be described as genocide of wildlife without any fear of law.