Pakistan's outgoing Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi was not among the 22 ministers sworn in on Friday as part of the `right-sized' cabinet that is being put together in place of the over-sized ministry of the past three years.
Though more ministers are expected to be sworn in as this cabinet formation was to be a phased affair, the inclusion of Mr. Qureshi in the next round is being ruled out as the word is that he did not want to be moved out of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He had apparently been offered the Ministry of Water and Power but Mr. Qureshi rejected it.
However, there was no official word on whether he had been dropped or would make it to the ministry in the next phase of cabinet expansion. Former Minister of State for Finance Hina Rabbani Khar has been shifted to Foreign Affairs but she will not have cabinet rank.