Cartoon row: Imran, MMA leaders detained
All detained were released after a few hours. Forces also used teargas and batons to disperse demonstrators.india Updated: Feb 26, 2006 21:07 IST
Imran Khan and MMA leader Qazi Hussain Ahmed, along with a few others, were briefly detained after they defied a government-imposed ban and took out rallies against publication of Prophet Mohammed cartoons.
Khan, who is the leader of the Tehrik-e-Insaf party, was detained when he tried joining a rally in Lahore. The former cricketer is an ally-turned-opponent of President Pervez Musharraf. He aligned with MMA to oppose the military-backed government.
Qazi, leader of the six-party Islamic alliance Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal,was taken into custody as he tried to get out of the heavily-guarded party office in Lahore. He was earlier put under house arrest.
The authorities also barred Makhdoom Amin Fahim's entry into Lahore. Makhdoom is the chairman of former premier Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party. He had said that his party would also join the protest.
Maulana Fazalur Rehman, MMA Secretary General and opposition leader in the National Assembly, was arrested in Islamabad.
Police said that all the detained leaders were released after a few hours.
Security forces also fired teargas and used batons to disperse small groups of demonstrators in Lahore.
The angry protestors chanted anti-US and anti-government slogans and threw stones at police.
Around 100 protesters broke through the security cordon and gathered at Ichra locality in the city. Police arrested dozens of activists after a minor clash.