LAHORE, Feb 9: Seven re-employed or contract officials, including Ziauddin Butt and Rana Maqbool, resigned here on Wednesday -- a day ahead of the Punjab government’s appearance before the Supreme Court dealing with the issue of re-employment of retired civil servants.

Two other officials were also removed, putting the number of the gone re-employed people to nine.

The Supreme Court is resuming hearing of the suo motu action it had taken regarding the corruption in Haj arrangements in 2010 but had also dealt with the issue of re-employment of civil servants after retirement, on Thursday (today).

The Punjab government was initially considering their removal from service, but after lengthy deliberations it thought to first ask for their resignation.

The Punjab government had last week removed nearly 70 coordinators and chairpersons of task forces engaged on political grounds one day ahead of the hearing of a writ petition by the Lahore High Court which had asked it to justify their appointments.

The resignations on Wednesday came after the provincial government collected lists of all those who were re-employed or employed on a contract basis in violation of the re-employment policy, contract policy, Section-14 of the Pakistan Civil Servants Act, and Section 13-1 of the Punjab Civil Servants Act 1974.

An attempt was made to appoint former Lt-Gen Ziauddin Butt as chief of the army staff, and Rana Maqbool Ahmad was the Sindh IGP when Gen Musharraf had toppled the Nawaz Sharif government in 1999. They both were arrested along with Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Rana Maqbool is also facing charges of torturing President Asif Zardari during his imprisonment.

Mr Butt was appointed as Chief Minister’s Inspection Team chairman and Rana Maqbool Ahmad as Secretary (Prosecution) reportedly on the recommendation of Nawaz Sharif.

The others include former PCO LHC Judge Kazim Ali Malik who was appointed as Anti-Corruption Establishment director-general, former IB officer Muhammad Mehmood working as DIG Special Branch, Rawalpindi, Col Ehsanur Rehman (retired) who was acting as Director-General Civil Defence, former DMG officer Nazar Muhammad Chauhan who had resigned during the Punjab government of Pervaiz Elahi and was now hired as Privatisation Board chairman, and former Punjab Information Secretary Shoaib bin Aziz re-employed as Chief Minister’s Press Secretary.

Re-employment orders of Maj Shaqatullah Malik (retired) as SSP (Investigation and CID) were withdrawn as he had not joined the service.

Similarly, approval regarding the appointment of former bureaucrat Tariq Ayub as the Punjab Institute of Languages and Culture Director-General was also withdrawn. Officials said he was not formally appointed.

Meanwhile, official sources said these officers had been found re-employed or employed on contract in violation of the rules and policies during the initial probe into the illegal appointments as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The exercise was not conclusive and more found illegally re-employed or hired on contract would be removed.

The nine officers had left their jobs with immediate effect, the sources said and added that one of them did not want to submit resignation to save one-month’s salary.