‘Tis the season to be jolly, the bustards are coming. The small chicken-like birds migrate from Africa to Pakistan in the winter season to celebrate Christmas, and much like most African migrants in history, they are hunted for pleasure by rich people. Thankfully the birds are grey and brown, not white, so the world hardly cares about them.
Pakistan must be lauded for its strong stance against the hunting of these poor defenceless birds. Pakistanis have no need to go hunting for birds. They already have their favourite sport: to hunt other Pakistanis. No, instead the bustard hunting is exclusively reserved for bustard enthusiasts: the Arabs. It is racist that Pakistani newspapers are focusing so much on the Arab hunting trips whereas nobody cared when Raymond Davis came to hunt in Pakistan.
So what if the Arabs are allowed to hunt a few birds in Pakistan? What good are birds anyway? You cannot even park your car outside in Karachi because of all the pigeon poop. Once again, the Arabs are coming in to help Pakistan with its shit; no bustards means no bustard poop. It is a win-win for all of us.
Sure there are endangered species that the royal princes could hunt in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but why cause death and destruction in your own country when you have Pakistan as your royal playground? The Arab version of the TV show Westworld is basically called Al-Bakistanworld. Forget the birds, if they pay us enough we will let them hunt the Baloch near Shamsi airbase too. We let the Americans do it, so why not the Arabs?
The Americans have not housed our leaders. The Arabs were nice enough to keep the Sharif brothers for us while we figured out if we liked another military dictatorship or not. Even now, they are standing with open arms, much like Jaya Bachchan in Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, waiting to take our bustard poop from us.
There are approximately 600,000 Pakistanis working in the UAE. They are given jobs, shawarmas and no fundamental human rights to remind them of back home. In return, all the Arabs ask for is the right to watch their falcons dismantle a few defenceless small birds — is that too much to ask? Letting other countries have wars in Pakistan for sport and watch with pleasure in return for money has basically been our foreign policy for the last 70 years.
There is an easy solution to stop all the anti-nationals looking to destabilise our relationship with our Arab brothers by asking for a ban on bustard hunting. We should declare all houbara bustards to be kaffir. Nobody would dare campaign against the right of our Arab Muslims brothers coming to Pakistan to hunt kaffirs. I know that because they have been doing that for years and nobody has ever campaigned against it.
If anything, Pakistanis and Arabs can come together and celebrate the killing of these kaffir birds every year. Pakistanis will just have to figure out how to jump over the fence to get into the areas reserved for the Arabs and get past all the security they bring with them. Sure, the Arabs may consider all the locals to be children of a lesser God but apart from them destroying chickpea crops without compensating the farmers, deporting Pakistanis from the UAE and using our land for sport, we are all basically brothers!
They just have to take the Sharif brothers back and we will let them hunt the snow leopards too. The population of Pakistan is growing and we have to make space. Like I said, win-win.
This article is part of the Herald's satire series titled 'Newsbite', originally published in the February 2018 issue. To read more subscribe to the Herald in print.