CHAKWAL: Pakistani TV anchor Imran Riaz Khan has found himself in muddy waters after a hunting frenzy in the forests of Chakwal – killing and poaching dozens of Black & Grey Partridges in a Protected Area of Diljaba, Chakwal, Punjab.
It’s understood that anchor Imran Riaz Khan, who is known for his open support for the government of Imran Khan, used his influence in the government to go on the hunting spree, hosting over half a dozen rich friends in the protected area.
Imran Riaz Khan, accompanied by friends went on an illegal hunting escapade in the forests of Chakwal, and killed almost a hundred partridges in a gross violation of hunting rules.
The news caught attention of thousands of users on social media who questioned the anchor for giving lectures against corruption on TV and on his Youtube channel while himself committing corruption. The anchor was questioned when the social media viewers got a sight of his multi-million Rupees luxury home in a posh Lahore area.
The anchor was fined 150,000 PKR and two suspects were arrested but the powerful anchor has evaded the writ of the law.
For facilitating the VVIP hunting trip, the Deputy Director Wildlife, Ghulam Rasool was immediately suspended from his post.
The Pakistan Daily (TPD) Investigations Desk has received the suspension order.
TPD Investigations Desk has also learnt that the luxury jeep (number: LE1 6174) is now in control of Chakwal administration.
The District Commissioner of Chakwal, Bilal Hasham confirmed the developments.
Previously, Imran Riaz Khan was the subject of another controversy when he boasted his uber-luxurious 4 Kanal mansion which led to many journalists questioning how a journalist could afford such an expensive property.
TPD Investigations Desk can also confirm that the vehicle Suzuki Jeep LE1 6174 is owned by Imran Riaz Khan.
In an exclusive conversation with The Pakistan Daily, anchor Imran Riaz Khan said, “Partridges on jeep don’t belong to me. And according to my knowledge my hunting guides took this picture for a friend in USA and for that they gathered partridges from different friends and some freezed birds were also among them which were hunted on previous Sunday.”
The powerful anchor added that everything would be clear after the inquiry.
The scandal of illegal hunting and using government influence was first broken by The News York Times journalist Ihsan Tipu Mehsud in a tweet sharing secret pictures of the anchor with the hunted birds.
Renowned anchor Hamid Mir and Asma Shirazi also took part in the debate.
Hamid said, “The deputy director of Wildlife Ghulam Hussain has been made the sacrificial lamb. This injustice shouldn’t have happened in the PTI government”.
Asma Shirazi and several other journalists said no action will be taken against the anchor because he’s close to the government.
“The real culprit will face no action, sir,” senior journalist, Asma Shirazi replied to Hamid Mir on the microblogging website, Twitter.