Pakistan nominated a new caretaker Prime Minister on Saturday.
Senator Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar is to oversee elections.
He is to name a cabinet and stay in office until a new government Is elected.
What do we know about Pakistan’s new caretaker PM?
Kakar is from the southwestern province of Balochistan. He has been serving a six-year term in the Senate since 2018.
Kakar is a member of the Balochistan Awami Party. The party is widely considered to be close to Pakistan’s military, which wields significant political power.
The new caretaker premier was jointly nominated by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the leader of the opposition, Raja Riaz.
“The prime minister and leader of opposition have jointly signed the advice which will be sent to the president for approval,” the statement said.
Balochistan is Pakistan’s least populous and least developed province. For years it has seen an insurgency by separatist militants who argue that the region’s natural resources are not being used to the benefit of the local population.
“We first agreed that whoever should be prime minister, he should be from a smaller province so smaller provinces’ grievances should be addressed,” said Riaz.
Under Pakistan’s constitution, a neutral caretaker government oversees national elections.
Election could be delayed
General elections must be held within 90 days of the dissolution of the parliament’s lower house, which occurred earlier this week.
However, a delay to the election is widely expected.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said that elections will not take place this year in an interview televised earlier this week.
The Election Commission is tasked with drawing new boundaries for hundreds of federal and provincial constituencies.
Some analysts have argued that this could give the outgoing government’s major coalition partners, the Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), time to figure out how to deal with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
Khan was removed from office in a no-confidence vote in April 2022. The ousted prime minister was then arrested on graft charges, leading to widespread protests by PTI supporters and an ensuing government crackdown.
Khan is barred from contesting any elections for five years.
The opposition now consists of dissident members of PTI who helped oust Khan, including Riaz. Most PTI lawmakers resigned after Khan’s 2022 ouster.
sdi/jcg (Reuters, AFP, AP)