PE: What prompted you to become an archivist?AS: I was collecting material for my book Toot'tee Banti Assemblian(1990). I could not find the relevant material despite running frompillar to post. My frustration took me to a junk-seller where I foundwhat I needed. Since then, I have been collecting reading materialfrom junk-sellers, which proved to be very useful. I was thusmotivated to build my own archives.When my friends came to know about my new passion, they starteddonating me their 'junk' material. I have stuffed my home with moundsof papers and have literally become roofless!PE: What do your archives comprise of?AS: 1000 books on Pakistan's political history; some 3000 books onevery province including East Pakistan; 3000 books on Indo-Pakculture, arts, society, history, etc. I have got complete unpublishedmaterial on various commissions set up by Ayub Khan. I have collectedpersonal papers of Sikandar Mirza (including his unpublishedautobiography), Masood Khaddarposh, G M Syed, Maulvi Tamizuddin andGhani Khan. I have leaflets, correspondence letters, reports andmemorandums of almost all political parties. Similarly, I have anarchive on all published material on water, agriculture, and allcensus reports (pre/post partition).My archives include complete material on Pakistan's Parliament (1947to date) and Punjab Assembly (1921-to date). Complete issues of DailyMashriq, Pakistan Times, Dawn, Jang, Imroz, Morning News, and manyothers. Archives of Illustrated Weekly of India and Illustrated Weeklyof Pakistan (1947 to mid '60s); Viewpoint (1975-1992); Newsline (1989onward); The Friday Times (complete file); Herald (1984 onward). Myarchives also contain material on various movements--labour, women,youth, children (pre/post partition) and some very rare books.PE: Who manages your archives?AS: I manage it myself. It costs me around Rs20,000 every month. Ihave to pay rent of two houses, one in Lahore and the other inIslamabad, and give salaries to the staffs. We have transformed thesearchives into an institution--South Asian Research & Resource Center(SARRC), which is open to public. I am making no profit out of it.Often, I provide free photocopies to needy students. People only payphotocopy charges. I would like to get SARRC registered. It isbecoming difficult to manage it professionally, as it has expanded toomuch. Rain, termite and other factors are damaging my archives. Everysix months, I have to discard a lot of valuable stuff.