Niazi edged out Aflatoon (274-268) in an all-Pakistan balck partridge cooing competition in Multan.
Ghulam Abbas Mahay, a local landlord, organised the competition. He told The Express Tribune that he believed in promoting healthy entertainment. “I don’t believe in organising fights, which strengthen a negative image of our culture,” he said.
He said the partridges entered in the competition are valued between Rs50,000 and Rs1 million.
When the competition began, over a 100 partridges in special silver or gold-plated cages began chirping at the same time with two referees tallying the number of calls each partridge made.
Niazi, a partridge brought from Bahawalnagar, was declared the winner for issuing 274 calls during the hour-long competition. Asif Shaheed, Naizi’s owner, said, “For one, the real satisfaction is that my partridge has won as a testament to my effort. I took great care of him and fed him a healthy diet including almonds and pistachios.” The second position went to Aflatoon for issuing 268 calls. Asim Nadeem, Aflatoon’s owner, said he hoped that his partridge would win the next competition.
Asim Muzaffar, whose partridge also participated, said that while his entry had not won, he had enjoyed the competition. “The last two hours of fun is the fruit of our labours,” he said.
The winner was awarded Rs20,000, the runners up got Rs10,000 and a trophy.
Some arrangements were made by a local organisation called the Friends’ Group. Shahid Ahmed, a member of the group, said, “Our aim is to portray the fauna of the country.”
“We do not believe that animals must fight to provide entertainment,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2012.
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