One man’s gift for the Prime Minister Imran Khan really cost him. In fact, it may cost him a prison sentence.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Wildlife Department seized two pairs of snakeskin Peshawari chappals
The shoes were being made as a gift for Prime Minister Imran Khan by one of Peshawar’s renowned shoe-maker Nooruddin Chacha.
It is alleged that a BBC Urdu report may be to blame the raid on his shop by the KP Wildlife Department. They also confiscated the shoes, estimated to value around 40,000 rupees.
Back in April, 2019, an English daily reported that Nooruddin and his son Islam were working on special pair of Kohati chappal for the PM. The shoe-makers revealed that they had imported snakeskin for their creation all the way from Africa.
BBC Urdu reported that the shoes had been commissioned by a man named Noman. While the snakeskin had been sent from the United States.
Nouman had intended for the shoes to be an Eid gift for the Prime Minister.
Saved by the Wrong Snake
The sale and purchase of snakeskin is illegal under the Wildlife Act, 2015. Under the law, the possession of any wild or exotic animal (dead or alive) without a valid certificate or license is illegal.
However, there’s a loophole. Only pythons are protected under the legislation.
The most common snakeskin used for exotic skin goods is sourced from pythons. The reason behind this is that pythons tend to be larger than most snakes.
Nooruddin could not have been arrested if not for another provision under the Pakistan’s Wildlife Act, 2015. The law applies if you are giving it away as a gift. Basically:
Gifting, sales or other transfer of any such animal is also not permitted under Section 17.
Legal Action Awaited
Up till now, an FIR has not been registered against the shoe-maker or the man who sourced the snakeskin.
However, if the snakeskin turns out to be from a python, they can face a minimum fine of 5,000 rupees or imprisonment of one-month, or both.
The maximum fine for this offense is 45,000 rupees or two years of jail time, or both.
Nooruddin was reportedly taken into custody from the shop with KP Wildlife Department’s raid.