PUNJAB Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif's observation that only Cholistanis have the right over Cholistan and their interest will be fully safeguarded is welcome. So is his announcement of an additional allocation of Rs 650 million for initiating development projects in the region. Addressing a public gathering in Cholistan on Thursday, he said of the total funding, Rs 250 million had been allocated for the development of livestock sector. There will however be few takers for Mian Shahbaz's view that the government had been utilizing all available resources for the development of Cholistan. The CM's hurried visit to the area along with the whole battalion of his administrative secretaries points to the belated realization that his government had done little to mitigate the sufferings of the province's backward region. This could be substantiated from the fact that South Punjab's share in this year's ADP is Rs 5 billion. The disparity becomes even more visible when one looks at the amount allocated for the Lahore Ring Road alone. It is eight times more than the total budgetary allocation for the southern parts of the province. It was against this backdrop that the demand raised by the parliamentarians from the South Punjab for the division of the Punjab saw the blurring of lines between the government and the treasury benches in the National and Punjab Assemblies. People like Makhdoom Javed Hashmi could not avoid endorsing the demand for the fear of losing their votebanks. It turned out to be a wake-up call for the Punjab's ruling leadership that there is no room for complacency so far as the development of South Punjab is concerned. Mian Shahbaz has done well by taking personal interest in the issue. But he could have forestalled the crisis by sparing some time during the budget making process and ensuring adequate funds for the region which was not give due attention after the end of Ch Pervaiz Elahi's rule.