Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan followed through Wednesday on his promise to hold a march and a protest in the country's capital of Islamabad, sparking clashes with police. File Photo by Chamila Karunarathne/EPA-EFE
May 25 (UPI) -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan followed through with his march to the capital of Islamabad Wednesday, leading to a crackdown on crowds by police and military.
The march of vehicles and supporters pushing for early elections defied the ban put in place by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's administration.
On Sunday, Khan called on his supporters to march on the country's capital to conduct a massive sit-in to force the government to hold new elections. He also confirmed he would run again for office in the next election.
Khan was removed last month after losing a unanimous no-confidence vote in Parliament.
"We have entered Punjab and will insha'Allah be heading towards Islamabad. No amount of state oppression and fascism by this imported govt can stop or deter our march," Khan wrote on Twitter Wednesday.
Video posted on his account showed hundreds of vehicles jamming a road for as far as the eye can see.
"We will remain in Islamabad till announcement of dates for dissolution of assemblies & elections are given. Calling all ppl of Islamabad & Pindi to join," Khan wrote.
Clashes between supporters and police broke out in several cities, including Karachi and Lahore. Police reported protesters setting fire to trees and vehicles in Islamabad.
Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah warned Sunday the government would be prepared to take "action" if such a march was created with the "intent to cause anarchy."
Earlier in the week, Khan repeated claims that the United States was behind his ouster from office, CNN reported.
"Whenever the next elections take place, not only will we run, but I can predict that this will be the biggest party in Pakistan's history, because people are so incensed and feel insulted that these criminals (current government) have been foisted upon us," Khan told CNN.