LAHORE - Around 100 drivers from across the country are gearing up for the 13th Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally, which will start on February 15.

The four-day rally, which is considered Pakistan’s biggest motor sport event, is being organised by the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP).

A good number of tourists is expected to visit Cholistan during the rally. TDCP and other stakeholders have completed their homework to cater to tourists’ needs. An MoU between sponsors and the TDCP has been signed.

The press conference was attended by Adviser to CM for Tourism Rai Haider Ali Khan Kharal, Vice Chairman of TDCP Imran Goraya, Tourism Secretary Aamir Jan, Tourism Managing Director Ahmer Mallick, drivers and other stakeholders.

Chairman of Taskforce on Cholistan Saud Majeed said, “Arrangements for the rally have been completed. Drivers from other countries and Pakistani women drivers are also expect to take part in the desert rally,” he said.

Located far south of Punjab, Cholistan desert is the most picturesque desert in Pakistan. Cholistan, locally known as Rohi (land of rolling sand dunes), is a continuation of Thar Desert in Sindh and Rajasthan Desert in India. Cholistan Desert is about 483km long and 64 to 290 km wide. Out of the total area, 16,000 square kilometres is purely desert.

TDCP started the jeep rally in the majestic desert of Cholistan in 2005 with a view to promote southern Punjab as a winter tourist destination and motor sport in Pakistan. The rally route has been extended to more than 450 kilometres in Cholistan desert covering three districts -- Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan. This desert event features cultural performances by local artists, fireworks and overnight stays in secure desert camps.