ISLAMABAD President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday took the oath of allegiance from a slimmer cabinet, reducing its number from nearly 60 to 22 but retaining many members of the previous cabinet, with the notable exception of the foreign minister. Twenty-two federal ministers, including four new faces, took the oath in the first phase of the cabinet reformation at a ceremony held at the President House. Others absent included Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Water and Power Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. Finance Minister Hafeez Sheikh and Interior Minister Rehman Malik kept their portfolios. Of the four new faces, one is of Hina Rabbani Khar, who has been made a state minister. Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has been given the portfolio of Information and Broadcasting, Rehman Malik Interior, Hina Rabbani Khar Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs, Samina Khalid Ghurki Environment, Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhatar Defence, Dr Zaheeruddin Babar Awan Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Makhdoom Sahhabuddin Textiles, Mian Raza Rabbani Inter Provincial Coordination, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shiekh Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Syed Khursheed Shah Religious Affairs, Syed Naveed Qamar Privatisation, Makhdoom Amin Faheem Commerce, Shahbaz Bhatti Minorities, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour Railways, Israrullah Zehri Food and Agriculture, Sardar Mohammad Umar Postal Services, Mir Hazar Khan Bijrani Industries and Production, Haji Khuda Bux Norcotics Control and Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan Communication. However, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani will keep the charge of some ministries, including Water and Power, Human Rights, Information Technology and Telecommunication, Defence Production, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Overseas Pakistanis, Ports and Shipping and Housing and Works. The other new ministers are Mohammad Umar and Mian Changez Jamali from Balochistan and Engineer Shaukat Ullah from FATA. Source said that coalition partners, particularly Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), would be accommodated in the cabinet in the second phase. Each minister swore to undertake their duties 'honestly and 'faithfully in accordance with the constitution and 'always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of Pakistan. Most ministers whom President Zardari swore in were members of his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Officials confirmed ministers from other parties in the coalition would take oath later. It is learnt that Shah Mehmood Qureshi refused to be par of the cabinet on being told that he would not be given the Foreign Ministry. However, certain other reports said that Qureshi might be the next prime minister in case of any change of the brass in future. One report said that Qureshi expressed his inability to become minister citing domestic matters. Qureshis refusal came at a critical time as Zardari is set to visit the United States and Qureshi himself was scheduled to travel to Washington to attend the tripartite meeting with the US and Afghan foreign ministers. Pakistan and India are also scheduled to begin formal peace talks next month and Qureshis exclusion may have some impact on the Foreign Ministrys role in the coming days. Ministers had tendered resignations en mass after the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of the Pakistan Peoples Party authorised PM Gilani to appoint a new 'lean cabinet. The CEC also tasked the prime minister with appointing fewer ministers enjoying the reputation of integrity, competence and efficiency. In this regard, many view the change as cosmetic as most old faces have returned to the new cabinet. Prime Minister Gilani has formed a smaller cabinet to reduce administrative expenditure and meet opposition demands, as part of the PML-Ns 10-point economic reforms agenda. The names of the Ministers/Minister of State and their portfolios are as under: 1) Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo: Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs 2) Ms. Samina Khalid Ghurki: Environment 3) Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar: Defense 4) Dr. Zaheeruddin Babar Awan: Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs 5) Dr. Firdos Ashiq Awan: Information and Broadcasting 6) Makhdoom Shahabuddin: Textile 7) Mian Raza Rabbani: Inter Provincial Coordination 8) A. Rehman Malik: Interior 9) Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh: Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs 10) Syed Khursheed Shah: Religious Affairs 11) Syed Naveed Qamar: Privatization 12) Makhdoom Amin Fahim: Commerce 13) Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani: Industries and Production 14) Haji Khuda Bux Rajar: Narcotics Control 15) Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan: Communication 16) Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour: Railways 17) Engr. Shaukat Ullah: States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) 18) Mir Changez Khan Jamali: Science and Technology 19) Sardar Al-Haaj Mohammad Umar Gorage: Postal Services 20) Mir. Israrullah Zehri: Food and Agriculture 21) Shahbaz Bhatti: Minorities 22) Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar: Minister of State for Foreign Affairs The charge of the following Ministries will remain with the Prime Minister: 1) Water and Power 2) Human Rights 3) Information Technology and Telecommunication 4) Defence Production 5) Petroleum and Natural Resources 6) Overseas Pakistanis 7) Ports and Shipping 8) Housing and Works