LAHORE: Residents of Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan and Bahawalpur will soon be able to enjoy free wireless Internet as Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has inaugurated the free service for five cities. Addressing the inaugural ceremony here at the Arfa Software Technology Park on Wednesday, the chief minister said that 200 hotspots will be launched in the cities under the programme. Shahbaz Sharif said his government had provided information technology laboratories in 5,000 schools and attendance of teachers had been improved through the system. The chief minister said that 50,000 tablets were being distributed among students. He said that the provincial government was introducing information technology in different sectors. He went on to say that the service would benefit hundreds of thousands of citizens, and added that the launch of the free Internet service was a huge step towards digitisation. He said the Punjab government had taken revolutionary measures for promotion of the IT, and performance many of several government departments had been enhanced by utilising the technology. He quoted the examples of Land Record Information Management System and computerisation of police stations. He said that the future of Pakistan was connected to IT, and added that digital Pakistan is the only way forward. Shahbaz said that a new campus of the Information Technology University (ITU), with main campus at the Arfa Software Technology Park, would be established on Bedian Road for which funds would be earmarked in the forthcoming budget. Present on the occasion, Punjab Information Technology (PITB) Chairman Dr Umer Saif briefed the chief minister on steps taken to introduce e-governance and the use of the information technology in education, health, police and other sectors. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh governments had sought cooperation from the Punjab government to bring about improvement in performance of government departments, and the chief minister had directed to provide all-out cooperation to both the governments. Punjab Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha also addressed the ceremony. Provincial ministers, lawmakers, senior officers of Punjab and IT experts also participated in the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, Dr Umer Saif presented a shield to the chief minister, while Shahbaz Sharif also presented shields to Free Internet Service Project Manager Sajjad Ghani, experts and officers concerned.