During British Raj a library was established near King Gate of Kohat with donations from honorable Malik Ashraf father of multimillionaire Malik Asad Khan of Chikarkote Kohat, British rulers had also contributed a lot in this regard. In early years of present century in Old Commissioner House of Kohat a library was also established by ex Governor NWFP Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah, at the end of his tenure pro Taliban MMA government of NWFP had abolished both the libraries and had shifted books to the upper hall of gymnasium in the building of Municipal Committee Kohat. A hall in upper story of Municipal Committee building was specified as reading room where readers can read news papers only, all the books including copies of Kohat gazetteer are now either missing or kept in cartons under lock and key in upper story of gymnasium.
Now that secular ANP is in power in NWFP people are expecting reversal of Talibanization policies of former MMA government, restoration of Kohat library will be a great step forward in this respect. Since last three months due to financial problems even newspapers are not available in reading room of the library an editor of local daily has lamented.
At the spot of old building of Kohat library a market is built by Kohat Municipal authorities. Earlier I was assured by Seith Manzoor Paracha that at the top of new market building a hall for library will be specified, after demolishing beautiful library building built during British Raj the market shops are built and one cannot find any big hall in that new building which can be specified for library.
Due to lack of exposure local leadership in Kohat doesn’t grasp the idea of having library at the pattern of library of congress in Washington, even available stock of books is kept under lock and key and no formal membership pattern for issuing books from library does exist. Now that dictatorship is ended in Pakistan political leadership shall make it sure that it will not be revived again, establishment of universities, encouragement of social scientists through spread of social sciences subjects in existing universities which are currently focusing only on natural sciences and IT subjects along with establishment of libraries can bring a pleasant change in Pakistani society.