Riaz as opposition leader: LHC allows Centre, Punjab, NA speaker chance to file replies.

LAHORE -- The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday allowed an opportunity to the federal and Punjab governments and the speaker of the National Assembly to file replies to a petition challenging the appointment of Raja Riaz, a dissident MNA of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, as opposition leader in the lower house.

As Justice Raza Qureshi resumed hearing of the petition, an additional attorney general, the advocate general of Punjab and a counsel for the National Assembly speaker sought more time to file replies on behalf of the respondents.

Petitioner's counsel Azhar Siddique argued that the matter was of great importance as the opposition leader was going to play a significant role in the coming days. He said urgency was also involved in the matter as the opposition leader would play his role in appointment of the caretaker government before the next general elections.

The judge adjourned the hearing till Feb 7 and directed the lawyers of the respondents to ensure submission of their replies.

The petitioner's counsel submitted the resignations of the PTI MNAs had not been accepted by the Speaker. He said MNA Riaz had...

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