ISLAMABAD - The law and order situation has disturbed the flow of life in the country and the federal capital has no exception, as National Library, situated next to the PM Secretariat in Red Zone, is the place for which multi-layered security arrangements have turned out to be a big hurdle for library members and visitors.

The library has around 1,300 regular visitors but because of extra security measures they cannot visit it regularly, as public transport is not allowed to enter the Red Zone and library members have to cross three security pickets.

Sources of National Library informed this scribe that the library was still awaiting the government’s response over the construction of Faiz Public Library in the federal capital, announced by former President Asif Ali Zardari in the past.

The National Library moved the PC-1 of Faiz Public Library to Planning Commission six months ago, sources added.

Sources said that only six sectors of the capital have public libraries which are in terrible conditions and readers have started to avoid paying visit there.

Sources mentioned that the buildings of six public libraries are in bad condition and toilets are not operational while roofs of these libraries have been dripping.

The sources said that National Library signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with CDA for developing public libraries in 17 sectors of Islamabad.

According to the MoU, it is duty of the CDA to allocate the plots for these libraries and National Library is responsible for providing the books.

Islamabad is the only capital of the world where there is no library of international standard. The people who are living in suburbs of the capital are also deprived of public libraries, sources added.

Talking to The Nation, Director General of National Library Chaudhary Nazir admitted that the number of library visitors was reducing day by day due to security hurdles and National Library cannot issue the special security passes to visitors or readers of the library for entering the Red Zone.

He said that National Library has planned to build a public library in the name of legendry poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz but due to the shortage of fund he had sent the PC-1 of this library to Planning Commission.

Chaudhary Nazir said that Capital Development Authority was not cooperating with National Library and even he wrote to the Capital Development Authority several times for maintenance of six public libraries but CDA did not reply his letters even for a single time.

He said that National Library wants to build public libraries in every sector and surroundings of the capital.

He said that he had also asked the Capital Development Authority to look after the buildings of public libraries for safety of books and in case it cannot maintain them, it should hand over the responsibility to National Library.

He pointed out that Higher Education Commission (HEC) occupied the six plots of National Library in different sectors of the capital in Musharraf ear for construction the public libraries.

He said that National Library raised this issue with HEC administration for getting back those plots because construction of libraries is not in the domain of the Higher Education Commission.

After getting these plots, National Library administration has a plan to construct the libraries there, he added.