Ministry of Defence is to seek special exemption from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for exporting one horse, to be gifted to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, by General Headquarters (GHQ), on behalf of Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, during the former’s forthcoming visit to Pakistan, well-informed sources told Business Recorder.
If the special exemption is granted, it would be the latest special permission from the government of Pakistan for exporting live animal to an Arab country as a gift, the sources added.
They said that Ministry of Defence has informed the Economic Co-ordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on January 18, 2017 that Pakistan Army breeds horses of high quality for operational, recreational and ceremonial purposes. These fine quality horses were gifted to friendly states as a goodwill gesture. In this regard, the GHQ had proposed to present one horse, on behalf of the CoAS, to the Emir of Qatar.
Ministry of Defence has also disclosed that the Animal Husbandry Commissioner Islamabad, Ministry of National Food Security and Research had informed that the ECC had imposed a ban on export of live animal.
According to sources, Ministry of Defence had requested the ECC to grant special exemption from issuing export and quarantine certificate by the authority concerned for exporting one horse, on priority.
During discussion in the ECC, Secretary Commerce stated that according to the revised Export Policy Order (EPO) such exemption(s) are granted by the Prime Minister on the recommendations of the Ministry of Commerce.
After a brief discussion, the ECC recommended special exemption for export of one horse and directed the Ministry of Defence to submit the case for approval of Prime Ministry through Ministry of Commerce.
In June 2016, the ECC had accorded approval for gifting four horses to the royal families of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Each of the royal families got two horses of high breed. The horses had already been exported after Finance Minister, in his capacity as chairperson ECC, gave anticipatory approval, and later got it regularised from the ECC.
Commerce Ministry, sources said, recently allowed export of 30 cranes and 500 goats on a chit to the Emir of the UAE after getting special permission from Prime Minister. The sources said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had approached Finance Minister, who “directed” Commerce Ministry to get permission from the PM and allowed export of 30 cranes and 500 goats to Emir of the UAE.
The Commerce Ministry, sources said, has already granted several hundred special exemptions to the influential parties after seeking permission either from the PM or the commerce minister.