By Maj Agha Amir Ahsan (A-5)
When I was a young boy I used to go on hunting trips with my father and his friends, as most of the animals in Pakistan were endangered, we could only hunt wild boars, for which we were actually encouraged and paid Rs. 5 for each tail deposited as proof to the concerned department. My father and his two friends were very fond of big game hunting and I was the fourth and youngest of the group. One of the friends was the Divisional Forest Officer and very influential, the other was a very young man and carried out all the heavier tasks, my father being the eldest was the organizer and the leader of the group, and I was the baby, the most pampered one, and also the best shot. I used to kill the second highest number of the beasts, only to be beaten by my father.
Islamabad was still a plan on the papers except for some construction at the secretariat buildings and Melody cinema. It was a vast wasteland. There were small roads connecting small villages to Murree Road or directly to Rawalpindi city. There were a few agricultural fields, but most of the land was covered with shrubs. Some small fresh water streams were running down from the beautifully green Margalla Hills into the Korang River and Lai Nullah. Nice, clean and fresh water flowed in these streams, and some of them which were little deeper had fish in them.
Saidpur Road actually went up to Saidpur village, and there was a small hamlet on this road, where now stands the Industrial Area Police Station. A low paid colleague of my father lived in this hamlet. He was also our partner in the wild boar hunting. We would park our cars at his home, and then walk out in the surrounding areas, while he would collect all the young boys of the village to beat drums and make noise to scare the boars out of their hideouts in the tall grass around the streams.
The villagers helped us in their own interest. Firstly, to get Rs. 5 for each tail they could cut and deposit, five rupees in those days was a very handsome amount. Secondly, the boars used to spoil their crops and at times attack the loan pedestrians. The final reason was that in absence of TV etc. this was the best entertainment they could afford.
There was a very large population of wild boars in the area at that time and we could not reduce it, but then my father was posted to another station, and these adventures came to an end. We returned after a few years, but by then Islamabad had developed and the two legged population had increased much beyond, and hunting was prohibited. I have heard that some boars are still living in the area, but now the local population is not much afraid of them, they have much more scarier problems to face than a few confused beasts coming and banging into their bumpers at night.
More Articles by Maj Agha
Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part I)
Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part II)
Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part III)
Rawalpindi, a City of Dreams and Demons (Part IV)
Letter to a Chilean Friend
The Chocolate Fairy