LAHORE – The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has registered a new political party launched last year by Sohail Zia Butt, who is a relative of deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
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According to a notification issued on Wednesday, the Aam Awami Party (AAP) has been founded by Sharif’s cousin, who will also serve as its chairman.
In June last year, the former MNA had launched his own political party vowing to end inherent politics from the country. Sohail Butt said he got inspiration from the successful story of Indian Aam Aadmi Party that defeated big national parties like Congress and BJP in Dehli.
“It was very unfortunate that people could only come to mainstream politics on the merit of kinship,” he had said at the launch of his party last year in the holy month of Ramazan, adding he was against such politics and would work to bring a real change in the country.
With the registration of Butt’s AAP, the number of political parties registered with the ECP has increased to 353.
The Lahore-based businessman had been elected to the National Assembly on the ticket of PML-N from Gulberg, Lahore; later, his son Omar Sohail Zia Butt was elected MNA from the same NA-126 constituency on PML-N ticket in 2008.
Butt is said to have developed differences with Nawaz Sharif in 2013 when PML-N did not award a party ticket to Omar Sohail Zia.
In 2001, an accountability court had convicted Sohail Zia Butt in a corruption reference filed by the National Accountability Bureau, handing him down three-year term in absentia under section 31-A of the NAB Ordinance, besides declaring him a proclaimed offender.
Later, in September 2010, Butt was arrested and sent to jail to serve the term.
On March 7, 2012, an accountability court acquitted Butt in the corruption reference filed on the complaint of the National Industrial Cooperative Finance Corporation (NICFC) manager.