BAHAWALPUR - With a view to promote southern Punjab as a winter tourist destination and a way to introduce motor sports in Pakistan, the 7th Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally will start from Feb 16.

In a press briefing, Punjab Tourism Development Corporation Managing (TDCP) Director Saad Khan said that all the arrangements had been finalised to the event in Cholistan which will start from Feb 16 to Feb 19.  A meeting was held to review the arrangement which was attended by DCO Dr Naeem Rauf, MNA Ch Saood Majeed, jeep rally focal person Muzzamilur Rashid, Shahid Mehmood and other official representatives related to the departments concerned including Pakistan Army, Rangers, Police, Health, Emergency Service Rescue-1122 and Revenue Department.

The TDCP Director said that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had been taking keen interest in the success of the event which would not only help improve the national image but also help a lot to introduce the Cholistani culture at larger scale. A number of stalls will be set-up on the spot and all living facilities would be provided to the visitors.

He said that foolproof security arrangements had been made and special security measures would be taken around the track to avert any mishap. About 70 vehicles have been registered so far for participation in the rally while it is expected that more than 100 vehicles will take part in the event and the inspection of the vehicles will be held at Sadiq Public School on Feb.16, he added. A special function will be held in this regard at Noor Mehal, on the same evening, he added.

The drivers meeting and checking of the track will be held on Feb 17 while the qualifying round of the jeep rally will be held on Feb 18 at 9-00 am followed by a cultural night and fireworks. The 7th Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally will be flagged off on Feb 19 in the morning and prizes will be distributed at the conclusion of the race on the same afternoon.