|In 1997, the Directorate General of Petroleum Concessions, an affiliated body of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Government of Pakistan, granted a concession to the Premier Oil Group, to explore for oil/gas, in the Dumbar Block. Premier Oil, laler merged with Shell Oil. to form the Premier-Shell Pakistan Group.
90% of the Dumbar Block comprises of the Kirthar National Park. Kirthar National Park (KNP) is the largest national park of the country. It was designated as a national park in 1974 by the Sindh Wildlife Department. It was the first of Pakistan's park to be included in the UN's listing of national parks in 1975. In addition. Kirthar qualifies for the strict criteria fixed by the Wor1d Conservation Union for a Category II Protected Area.
KNP is situated at a distance of about 80 kms north of Karachi. Apart from its rich biodiversity status, the area houses archaeological remains dating back to 3500 years B.C., and also the largest of world's historic forts-Rannikot. In addition, the park area serves as the watershed of four important waterways feeding into Karachi and Hyderabad cities i.e., Hub, Baran, Mole and Malir rivers.
However, the main issue at stake is the legal status of the park. According to the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1972, all kinds of mining and exploration activities are prohibited in the national parks of Sindh province. This law is further augmented by the Sindh Wildlife Amendment Act 1993 and a Sindh Government Notification, 1997. It is clear, that the awarding of this exploration license was an illegal act... Read More ( )