KARACHI - At least 93 retired bureaucrats of grade 17 to 22 are still working on a contractual basis in various departments of Sindh, a step the regular officers consider unjust, official sources told The Nation on Monday. The problem is rather perpetual since the PPP-led provincial government, in step with the policy of previous regimes, has continued reemploying retired federal secretaries, military officers, judges and police officers on contracts. Another related problem in the province is that a number of officers are serving departments on deputation in clear violation of the Supreme Court (SC) orders. The SC earlier sent home two officers on contracts, pressing the point that procedures governing the service of officers must be adhered to. Also, the Sindh High Court (SHC), in its recent verdict, ordered the provincial government designate the services of provincial officers to their parent departments. The PPP has been facing criticism from the civil society and its coalition partners alike on its reemployment and deputation policy. According to details gathered by The Nation, at least five grade-22 officers, including four retired federal civil servants, are serving the provincial government on a contractual basis. Dr SM Qureshi, a retired federal civil servant, is currently Chairman Charter Inspection and Evaluation Committee on a one-year contract, expiring in August 2011. Qureshi was hired by the last provincial government in 2002 and given extensions from time to time. Muhammad Aslam Sanjrani, ex-federal secretary, is working as Managing Director Thar Coal and Energy Board. He was hired by the present government on August 12, 2008 on a three-year contract. Nazar Muhammad Mahar, ex-federal secretary, is appointed as Chairman Sindh Revenue Board on a two-year contract, expiring in July 2012. Akhtar Jamil, ex-federal officer, is working as member Sindh Revenue Board on a two-year contract, ending July 2011. Similarly, Dr Fahmida Hussain, a retired officer of Karachi University, is serving the Culture and Tourism Department as chairperson Sindhi Language Authority, Hyderabad on a contract. At least nine retired officers of grade-21 are working in the Sindh government on contracts. They include Shamsul Haq Memon, ex-Forest official, as consultant (agriculture) Coastal Development Authority, Professor Anita Ghulam Ali, ex-Education officer, as Managing Director Sindh Education Foundation since December 2008, Syed Aley Maqbool Rizvi, retired sessions judge, as Chairman Appellate Tribunal, Local Councils, Sindh since 2009 for three years, Syed Faisal Saud, a retired DMG officer, as MD Sindh Civil Servants Housing Foundation for three years, Muhammad Qasim Lashari as member (judicial) in the Sindh Board of Revenue, Syed Ghulam Nabi Shahm, a retired sessions judge, as Secretary Law Department since 2009, Akhtar Hussain Memon as consultant Sindh Police, and Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi of the SHC as chairman Sindh Government Lands Committee for two years. At least 27 officers in grade-21 are occupying regular posts in the Sindh government on a contractual basis. A retired officer of the Local Government, Ameerzada Kohati, is working as Director General Malir Development Project since April 2006. It is interesting that the government had issued a notification on June 9, 2008, allowing Kohati to continue the current post temporarily till further orders, but three years have passed since. Muhammad Laiq Zardari, a retired professor, is working as Director General, Bilawal Institute of Historical Research Centre, Nawabshah since 2008 on a three-year contract. Of officers in grade-20, Syed Sarfraz Ali Shah, a retired officer of the Works and Services Department, is serving as Project Driector Hyderabad Development Package, since 2008 on a three-year contract, Dr Srichand Ochani is serving as Consultant/Project Director for the rehabilitation of district headquarter hospitals and talukas on a two-year contract since March 2010, Mahboob Alam Ansari as Consultant Wildlife Department since 2009, Dr Salman Memon as Project Coordinator for Project Coordination And Monitoring Unit in the Planning and Development Department on a four-year contract since 2010, Panah Ali Jumani as Chief Engineer, Provincial Buildings on two years contract, Brigadier (r) AS Nasir is working as Consultant Local Government since October 2010 on a yearly contract. Furthermore, 16 retired officers, including ex-army, police and federal servants, are still possessing regular posts in grade-19. In addition to 16 other retired officers occupying regular posts of grade-18 and 5 more on grade-17 posts, the PPP-led provincial government has also granted contracts to 14 outsiders, appointing them as consultant or project head/s on fixed pays. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, a few months ago, formed a three-member committee to look into the matter of retired officers working in provincial departments. The committee noted that majority of the retired officers were hired between 2004 and 2008. It also recommended termination of contractual employees whose performance is under par. Sources, however, said that when the committee met, at least 139 officers were working in different departments in grade-17 to grade 22 on contracts, and majority of the retired offices were reemployed by the present government. Defending the contractual appointment of retired officers, a senior official of the government told The Nation that keeping in view the shortage of experience and technical skills, the government has no option but to hire the retired officers. In addition to this, a battalion of special assistants and consultants are working in various capacities in the Sindh Government, and are a huge burden on the shrinking resources of the province. Over a dozen have been employed as special assistants and are paid hefty salaries, perks and privileges. They include In-charge Complaint Cell Imtiaz Mallah, Special Assistant for Media Waqar Mehdi, Agha Arslan Khan, Ismail Dahri, Ghulam Haider Rahu, Salman Abdullah Murad, Zia-ul-Islam, Noor Jehan, Shamshad Qureshi, Anwar Lal Din, Ameen Mengal, Pervaiz Ansari and Pahlaj Rai. The provincial government recently cut its development budget. It may be a coincident, but Imtiaz Mallah comes from the village of the Chief Minister, and is said to be in charge of his (CMs) property there. Salman Murad is the son of late PPP MPA Abdullah Murad. The CM recently offloaded one dozen advisers as an austerity measure and to fulfil the conditions laid down in the 18th Amendment, but no step was taken to reduce the battalion of special assistants. It maybe their sheer number that a number of specials assistants are unknown to the cabinet members and the CM House staff. Despite having army of Advisors and Special Assistants, Chief Minister has not succeeded in resolving the problems of the masses. Sources said that this bunch of Advisors and Special Assistants was appointed just to appease political parties, allies and influential individuals otherwise they have no work to do.