Pakistan's ousted Khan calls protest off, gives ultimatum

STORY: Pakistani protesters in Islamabad dispersed on Thursday (May 26), heading home at the behest of the country's ousted prime minister Imran Khan.

He disbanded a protest march by supporters after clashes with police outside parliament the previous evening.

However, Khan warned that they would return unless an election was called.

“I am giving you six days. You announce elections in six days. You announce it in the month of June, dissolve assemblies. If you don’t do this after six days, I will come to Islamabad again with the entire nation.”

Khan has said that the confidence vote that toppled him last month was the result of a U.S. conspiracy.

He is demanding a fresh election to show he has national support.

Khan had reportedly fallen out with the country's military before being removed by a united opposition, which accused him of mismanaging the government, economy and foreign relations.

Washington and the Pakistan military deny playing any part in Khan's downfall.

Khan had rallied thousands of supporters to Islamabad, with plans to occupy parts of the capital until new prime minister Shehbaz Sharif gave in to his demand for new polls.

Police fired tear gas and baton charged the vanguard of the march.

Authorities detained hundreds of protesters, who had torched trees, vehicles, shops, and a bus station, as they advanced.

At least 18 police and paramilitary troops were wounded, according to the country's information minister, after dozens of protesters breached the last lines of defense outside parliament.

The clashes also spread to multiple cities in Punjab province and the southern port city of Karachi.