Sior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Sunday that former finance minister Hafeez Shaikh was among the candidates shortlisted for the slot of the caretaker prime minister. The minister told a private news channel that a consensus had been developed in recent days that a person considered “neutral” should be appointed to the post. Asked whether Shaikh was willing to take up the responsibility, Sanaullah said, “He surely would be.” Shaikh’s name was among those earlier reported to have been included in a list of five finalised by parties in the ruling coalition for the caretaker prime minister. The purported list was also said to have included former chief justice of Pakistan Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. In an apparent reference to him, when Sanaullah was asked whether a retired judge of the apex court was also among the shortlisted candidates, his reply was vague. “Yes, there are people from all segments,” he said. Asked whether former prime minister and PML-N leader Shahid Khaqan had been shortlisted, he said: “I don’t think so. He is a senior member of our party … and I don’t consider him neutral. “How could a person from a political party be neutral?” The minister also referred to the commotion following reports of Finance Minister and PML-N leader Ishaq Dar’s name being proposed for the caretaker prime and said “since there has been stress that a “neutral” person should be appointed, the caretaker PM would not be from a political party”. Sanaullah said the name of the caretaker PM was expected to be announced on Tuesday and Wednesday. “And just one name would be announced,” he added. The minister’s revelation comes just three days before the date given by the government for the dissolution of the assemblies, following which a caretaker setup would take the country’s reins until a new government is elected. Meanwhile, the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement coalition has upped the ante on consultations for the appointment of a “mutually agreed” name for the caretaker PM.