ISLAMABAD – After unprecedented delay caused by refusals by some nominees to be part of the interim cabinet and partly due to PPP and PML-N’s bickering over key portfolios, the Prime Minister House has finally announced a 15-member federal caretaker cabinet that will take oath at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.

According to a news release issued here late Monday night by the PM House, the prime minister selected a squad of 15 ministers for the caretaker federal cabinet.

These included Malik Habib (Punjab), Dr Mushtaq Khan (Punjab), Ahmed Bilal Soofi (Punjab), Dr Musaddaq Malik (Punjab), Sohail Wajahat H Siddique (Sindh), Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf Sh (Punjab), Maqbool HH Rahmatoola (Sindh), Abdul Malik Kasi (Balochistan), Asad Ullah Mandokhel (Balochistan), Mir Hassan Dhomki (Balochistan), Dr Sania Nishtar (KPK), Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel (KPK), Dr. Younis Soomro (Sindh) and others.

The federal caretaker cabinet will be sworn at the Presidency today. President Asif Ali Zardari will administer oath to the caretaker cabinet.The oath taking ceremony is expected to be attended by several leaders from different political parties.

Earlier, Khoso had announced to keep a small cabinet with around 12 ministers to accomplish the task of holding elections and running day-to-day governmental affairs.

Since the installation of the caretaker prime minister about ten days back, the Prime Minister House witnessed a hectic series of sessions and consultations of Prime Minister Khoso with all stakeholders for the formation of the federal cabinet with a priority to give representation to all provinces.

However, the selection of cabinet members got delayed as some of the selected members, when contacted by the caretaker prime minister, reportedly excused to be part of the interim cabinet.

“Former Ambassador of Pakistan Dr Maleeha Lodhi excused to become foreign minister in the caretaker federal cabinet,” said an official close to the developments taking place for the cabinet formation. “Similarly, another journalist – Talat Hussain — refused to be information minister.”