As the current government nears the end of its term, the country awaits the name of the person who will take on the responsibility of ensuring that the coming elections are held on time — and fairly.

Here, Dawn.com asks analysts to weigh in on the debate of who the next caretaker prime minister would be and what steps — with their limited powers — they would be able to take to ensure that the elections are not only held on time but are also free and fair.

Zahid Hussain

“The role of a caretaker prime minister is that of a watchdog. They are supposed to ensure that the elections are fair but he/she will not have much power.

A few names are circulating around of people who might be the caretaker prime minister. Among them is former representative of Pakistan in the United Nations, Abdullah Haroon, and former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. I think Jillani will be the best choice because he is non-controversial.”

Mubashir Zaidi

“Caretaker prime minister is supposed to be a person who is neutral, that is why the choice [of a caretaker PM] is usually a person who is not a politician or who has not had a successful career in politics.

The problem is that these days, it is hard to come across a person who is neutral. I think that it is wise that the government and the opposition have kept the candidates' names under wraps.

In the current political climate, it is more important than ever for the caretaker prime minister to be a neutral person who can ensure that the elections are held on time and are fair.

With the limited power that a caretaker prime minister has, I doubt they will be able to curb the maneuvers promoting one party over the other.

It will probably be someone toothless. The names that are circulating are of Hussain Haroon and former chief justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. We'll have to see.”

Zarrar Khuhro

“A caretaker prime minister is not of great importance; the post is pretty much irrelevant.

But in the current political climate, where everyone is so divided, the real consideration [while selecting a caretaker prime minister] will be making sure that the person is someone who is non-partisan.”

Arifa Noor

“Many names have been circulating as to who will become the caretaker prime minister, but it really doesn't matter who it is because they will not have much of an impact on the upcoming elections.

The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has already announced a date for the polls and in the current political climate, none of the stakeholders would want the elections to be delayed. It would be in no one's favour, so the caretaker premier won't have much to do in that area.

The provincial setups will also have a significant role to play as they will oversee the election process in the provinces. So a caretaker prime minister — whoever it is — will not have much to do.”