PTI forward bloc’s Gul Bar Khan elected GB CM

PTI forward bloc leader Gul Bar Khan. — Facebook/HajiGulbarKhan

Gul Bar Khan, leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) forward bloc, was elected Gilgit-Baltistan’s new chief minister on Thursday.

Gul Bar, who received 19 votes from the 20 members present in the house, was elected unopposed as three other candidates vying for the post withdrew their nomination papers.

An independent lawmaker, Nawaz Khan Naji, abstained from voting, with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) parliamentarians backing the new CM.

All 11 members of the PTI’s ‘like-minded group’ boycotted the polling, claiming rigging.

The election for the coveted post was triggered after the region’s top court disqualified former CM Khalid Khursheed was disqualified for holding a fake degree.

Following his removal from office, the PTI divided into two factions — the forward bloc and the like-minded or ‘humkhayal’ group, which boycotted the election.

Gul Bar — a brief profile

The newly-elected chief minister hails from the region’s Diamer district.

When GB’s first assembly elections took place in 2009, he contested on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s ticket and got elected to the parliament.

The PPP, which formed a coalition government in the region, brought him on as the health minister.

In 2015, he could not become a member of the assembly as a PML-N candidate defeated him.

Fast forward to 2020, he was elected on PTI’s ticket and became the health minister once more — this time under the leadership of ex-CM Khursheed.

Following Khursheed’s removal, he formed the PTI’s forward bloc and got elected as the chief minister on July 13.