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ISLAMABAD: The oath-taking ceremony of the four new ministers in the federal cabinet scheduled to be held on Monday afternoon was postponed at the last moment after former Senate chairman Mohammadmian Soomro refused to become a minister of state.

Sources in the government told Dawn that Mr Soomro, who had been elected an MNA on the ticket of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) from Jacobabad in the July 25 general elections, declined the offer of becoming a minister of state for privatisation when he came to know about the summary of the Cabinet Division in this regard.

The ceremony, the sources said, was now expected to be held on Tuesday.

They said the senior PTI leadership was in contact with Mr Soomro and trying to pacify him. However, they said, it was unclear if Prime Minister Imran Khan had agreed to make Mr Soomro a full-fledged minister or decided to keep him out of his cabinet.

According to an official announ­cement by the Prime Minister Office which was issued on Satur­day, the four new members of the federal cabinet are Mohammad­mian Soomro, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, MNA from Karachi, Murad Saeed, MNA from Swat, and Umar Ayub Khan, MNA from Haripur.

Mr Ayub and Mr Zaidi have been allocated the portfolios of energy and maritime affairs, respectively. The portfolio of Mr Saeed was to be allotted later.

The statement had not made it clear whether those being inducted into the cabinet would serve as full-fledged ministers or they would be assigned the status of minister of state.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018