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Nawaz Sharif’s royal pal allowed to hunt rare bird in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Government issued a permit allowing a Qatari prince to hunt an endangered bird in the country, days after he is believed to have bailed out Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the Panama Papers scandal, a media report said on Sunday.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, former prime minister of Qatar, is among those Arab royals who have been given special permits to hunt the internationally protected Houbara bustard in Pakistan.

The Dawn reported that al-Thani has been allowed to hunt down up to 100 migratory birds during a 10-day hunting safari in Jhang and Bhakhar districts of Punjab province in the 2016-17 winter hunting season.

This is not the first time that a special hunting permit has been issued to the Qatari prince but the timing has attracted attention in Pakistan.

The prince has been in the news following his letter to the Supreme Court in connection with the Panama Papers case describing his father’s business relations with Sharif’s family and his involvement in the London apartments that are at the centre of the controversy.

The letter by the Qatari royal virtually absolves the prime minister of the charges.

The court is hearing five identical petitions by opposition parties alleging Sharif purchased the properties through ill-gotten money illegally transferred out of the country.