Attock-Twenty E libraries across Punjab (including Attock district) are closed with staff terminated. This is nothing but anti-education policy of the incumbent government. A group of students including Shahzad, Amjad, Kamran and others said this while talking to this journalist.
By The Nation
They said that a large number of books in hard copy and more than 50 thousand online books were available to them free of cost through the e-library in a peaceful environment but they have been deprived of all this suddenly with a single stroke of pen as all e-libraries have been closed and staff terminated.
They said that this was not expected of this government which always talks about a new Pakistan and promising facilities to the under privileged. They said that the facilities which were available in these libraries cannot be made available at home especially for those belonging to low income and under privileged families.
Khan, a terminated employee of e-library while talking about the facilities being provided to students and other book loving people said that in every e-library, 3,000 books, 15 laptops, 15 tablets, reading hall, auditorium, HEC links, top 15 journals of the world to every student free of cost. He said that almost 60,000 students were regular members of these libraries.
He said that all these libraries were established in 2017 at the cost of millions of rupees and were controlled by the Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) Lahore and now all had been closed and staff terminated.
He said that the e-libraries, which have been closed were established in Attock, Rawalpindi, Mianwali, Gujrat, Sargodha, Bhakar, D.G. Khan, Gujranwala, Toba Tek Singh, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Lahore, Sahiwal, Muzafargarh, Okara, Vehari, Multan, Narowal, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur.
According to details, now Punjab government has handed over these e-libraries to Punjab Sports Board and now District Sports Officer of the concerned districts will run these libraries. The source further said that sports department will certainly face problem to run these libraries as the staff has been terminated.
District Sports Officer Attock Abdul Waheed Babar when contacted confirmed the development and said that at present the e-library Attock and other libraries across Punjab are closed because of coronavirus and will be opened when orders will be received from the higher authorities.
Abdul Waheed Babar while replying to another question said that the staff which was running these libraries has been terminated and certainly government will provide some alternative to run these libraries.
Spokesman PTI Punjab Qazi Ahmad Akbar was contacted on his WhatsApp for comments but he did not respond.
MPA Jahangir Khanzada from PML-N when contacted strongly condemned this act of the government and said that closing e-libraries which were established by PML-N was a clear proof that this government wanted to deprive people of every facility. He also condemned termination of the library staff.
Originally published at The Nation