LAHORE     -    The Punjab government has decid­ed to allot state land in Cholistan to 20,000 local farmers for cultivation in a phased programme. 

Decision to this effect was taken in a meeting held under the chair of Pun­jab Chief Minister Ch Parvez Elahi at his office on Friday. Special Assistant Dr Muhammad Afzal, assembly mem­ber Ch. Muhammad Ahsan, SMBR Za­hid Akhtar Zaman, Principal Secretary to CM Muhammad Khan Bhatti, former principal secretary GM Sikandar and MD Cholistan Development Authority Mehr Muhammad Khalid attended the meet­ing while deputy commissioner Baha­walpur participated through video link. 

The chief minister directed that a plan be devised to give government lands in the expanse of Cholistan to 20,000 lo­cal farmers for temporary cultivation for a period of five years in a transpar­ent manner. The meeting was told that the draw for the allotment of the first phase will be conducted by the Punjab Information Technology Board while another 5,000 farmers will be allotted temporary lands in the second phase. The chief minister said that government would resolve Cholistan farmers’ prob­lems on a priority basis. He hoped that this initiative would boost the agri econ­omy in the area. The people of Cholistan have an equal right to resources and al­lotment of lands to the landless farmers will change their future, he said. 

RESPECT FOR INSTITUTIONS A MUST:PARVEZ

A delegation of the Pakistan Broad­casters Association Friday met Punjab Chief Minister Ch Parvez Elahi and for­mer federal minister Moonis Elahi at the Chief Minister’s Office to discuss their problems. 

The CM assured them to resolve their problems on a priority basis. 

The delegation included association chairman Mian Amir Mahmood, vice chairman Mir Ibrahim Rahman, secre­tary general Shakeel Masood and board member Tahir Khan. 

The chief minister said that his party had always raised its voice for free­dom of the Press. “I am committed to the principles of tolerance and respect in politics”; he added. Parvez Elahi said that dignity of national institu­tions should be protected, and they shouldn’t be made controversial. “Re­spect for institutions is mandatory for everyone”, he said. He noted that Paki­stan’s media industry had developed at a fast pace and the role of media was of key importance in the current situation.

“The solution to the problems of Paki­stan lies in evolving consensus and uni­ty. I am striving to resolve public prob­lems to give relief”, he added.