Pakistani students detain Khan at rally-witnesses

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LAHORE, Pakistan, Nov 14 (Reuters) Pakistani religious students detained cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan today when he emerged from hiding to join a student rally against emergency rule, witnesses said.

A spokesman for Khan's party said it was not clear if he had been detained by police or students from an opposition religious party who had been trying to block his rally, but witnesses said it was students who had held him in a faculty building.

Khan, who heads a small opposition party, went into hiding soon after military ruler Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency on November 3 and rounded up thousands of opposition politicians, activists, lawyers and rights workers.

He had been greeted by scores of students shouting ''go Musharraf go'' when he appeared on the campus of Punjab University in the city of Lahore earlier.

''Jamaat-i-Islami students came and took him in there. They say they are keeping him for his safety but they basically hijacked our protest,'' said student and Khan supporter Faizal Sheikh.

A spokesman for Khan's party said he did not know who had detained him.

''A few men in civilian clothing, we don't know who they are, took him inside ... We cannot be sure if they are students or police,'' said the spokesman, Saifullah Khan Niazi.

But Niazi said Jamaat-i-Islami students had been trying to block Khan's protest.

''They are the only student union active on the campus and I guess they feel threatened,'' he said.


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