In the light of a Supreme Court order, the Sindh Land Utilisation Department cancelled the lease of land, used for the hunting purposes, and wrote to Thatta deputy commissioner (DC) to take control of the land.
According to details obtained from the district commissioner’s office on Friday, some 5,522 acres in Jhampir’s Deh of Kohistan was leased to Nasser Lootah in 1981 for a period of 30 years. As the lease neared the end, the Sindh chief minister in 2009 leased the land to Lootah for 99 years at the cheap rate of Rs30 per acre.
The land was leased for the purpose of setting up cattle farms, but Gulf visitors frequented it at the start of winter to poach the endangered houbara bustard.
“For a month or two in every winter, Arab sheikhs used to come for the game,” said a revenue official in the DC’s office. Last month, a three-judge bench of the apex court ordered the government to cancel all the licences issued to Arab princes for the hunting.