Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sadia Danish has become the first woman deputy speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.
She was elected unopposed on Monday after no member from the opposition submitted nomination papers for the post.
Ms Danish was nominated as the seventh deputy speaker of GB by the ruling bloc comprising PPP, PML-N, JUI-F and members of PTI’s forward bloc members.
Hailing from Gilgit, Ms Danish was elected to the assembly in 2020 on a reserved seat for women. She also remained a member on PPP’s ticket from 2009 to 2014.
During the PPP government in the region, she served as tourism and information minister from 2009 to 2014.
GB Assembly Speaker Nazir Ahmed Advocate had summoned the 22nd session of the assembly on Monday to conduct the election for deputy speaker.
The session, which started at 5pm, was attended by Chief Minister Gulbar Khan, members from PPP, PML-N, JUI-F and PTI’s forward bloc.
When no candidate submitted the nomination paper by the scheduled time, the speaker announced Ms Danish as the deputy speaker. Later, he administered the oath of office to her.
Talking to the media after taking the oath, Ms Danish thanked PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Chief Minister Gulbar Khan and assembly members.
She said PPP prepared the ground for women’s empowerment when Benazir Bhutto was elected as the first woman prime minister of Pakistan and the Muslim world.
She assured of working for women empowerment in GB.
With Ms Danish’s election, GB has got a new speaker, deputy speaker and chief minister — all within 39 days.
On June 8, Mr Ahmed was elected as the speaker after his predecessor, Amjad Ali Zaidi, was ousted through a vote of no-confidence. Since then, the seat of the deputy speaker was lying vacant.
On Thursday, Gulbar Khan became the region’s new chief minister, a week after PTI’s Khalid Khurshid was disqualified in a fake degree case.
A disgruntled PTI member who headed one of the party’s forward blocs, Mr Khan was supported by the PPP, PML-N and JUI-F.
However, four days after his election, he was yet to announce his cabinet members.
According to sources, the delay is due to a power-sharing formula being shaped by the allied parties. Under the formula, PPP and PML-N would get three ministries each and JUI-F one in the 12-member cabinet.A consensus was yet to be developed on portfolios of ministers, special assistants and coordinators.