Wildlife and Parks Punjab Director General Khalid Ayaz Khan has said that conservation of wildlife and checking its illegal hunting is the responsibility of the department and all energies are being utilised in this regard. He said that the officials performing their duties of protecting the wildlife without caring for their lives are the pride of the department and will be encouraged at every level.
He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony to distribute prizes and commendatory certificates among the officials of the wildlife department and Urial Western Jhelum Community-based Organisation that foiled an attempt to steal six Urial lambs a few days ago, at Kalar Kahar.
Honorary Game Warden Punjab Shah Rukh Butt, Chief Pattern Urial Western Jhelum Community-based Organisation Salman Warraich, Deputy Director Salt Range Rana Muhammad Shehbaz, Deputy Director Headquarter Naeem Bhatti and other officers were also present on the occasion.
Khalid Ayaz Khan stressed the need for making the shelters of wildlife safer and added that all necessary instructions have been issued to the officers appointed at the salt range. He said that no one is above the law and protection and conservation of the wildlife will be ensured by adopting the policy of zero tolerance against the violators. He said that Wildlife Department is extending all out cooperation to the CBOs regarding conservation of Urial and checking its illegal hunting.
Khalid Ayaz Khan said that conservation of wildlife is included in the duties of the wildlife department and steps are being taken for training of watchers of the department on modern lines in order to enable them to perform their duties in a more efficient manner. He said that due to illegal hunting, the number of Urial had reduced to less than five hundred but due to efforts of the department, the participation of local people and performance of the CBOs set up in 2005, their number has acceded 3200 which is a good omen.
The DG wildlife said that the provincial wildlife department is making all out efforts for conservation of wildlife but it is a collective responsibility, adding that the success is not possible without public participation in the measures taken for the purpose.
Later, DG Wildlife gave away commendatory certificates and cash prizes to six officials of the wildlife department including Wildlife Inspector Sher Ali, Wildlife Watchers Zamurd Khan, Banaras Khan, Shehbaz Bhatti. Driver Muhammad Arif, Driver Shakeel Ahmed and Western Jhelum Community-based Organisation President Raja Hamid Ali, General Secretary Raja Jameel Qaiser, and CBO Watchers Rifat Javed, Muhammad Aamir and Ghulam Ahmed.