Khan accuses Pakistan's military of ordering his arrest
Pakistan's former PM alleges that the army chief has a 'personal grudge' against him.
Imran Khan, Pakistan's former prime minister, has upped his criticism of the country's strong military, accusing the army chief of harboring a "personal grudge" against him and demanding his imprisonment and a crackdown on his party.
In an interview with The Guardian in his home in Lahore, Khan explained that the problem is of a personal nature, "It is personal. It's got nothing to do with national interest."
“Without any doubt, the military is behind my arrest,” he said. “Pakistan is now being run by the army chief. The crackdown on us is by the army chief.”
Khan said that his arrest, as well as those of seven top members of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, was evidence of the military's unrivaled authority.
He expressed that "if you have anyone above the law, then you descend into the law of the jungle. They can pick up people, detain people, disappear people. They try and influence judges; they clamp down on the media. There’s no accountability for the institution. It’s not democratic.”
During the interview, Khan accused then-army leader Bajwa of employing Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan's former ambassador to Washington, to campaign against Khan in the US. In response, Haqqani informed The Guardian that he had given Khan a legal notice for defamation, requesting that he retract his "lies."
"Imran Khan does not feel the need to offer any evidence of allegations he makes," Haqqani stated.
Khan urged his supporters on Saturday to keep protesting across the country just days after they clashed with security forces, triggered by his arrest.
Khan also denied allegations by his critics that he means to weaken the army through his statement, in an attempt to gain further control over the institution.
“We don’t want any backing,” he said. “We want them to be neutral; we just want free and fair elections.”
Read more: Around thousand detained during violent protests in Pakistan
Army maintains stance, denies Khan's claims
The former Prime Minister was freed on bail on Friday after the Supreme Court declared his arrest unlawful, which caused supporters to set government facilities on fire, block roads, and damage military property.
In a broadcast on YouTube, Khan said, "Freedom does not come easily. You have to snatch it. You have to sacrifice for it".
His arrest on Tuesday came after Khan was reprimanded for claiming senior officials had a hand in an assassination attempt against him last year.
Read next: Former Pakistani PM Imran Khan survives assassination attempt
The army maintains its stance on denying Khan's claims and has warned against any efforts to spread "misperceptions" against the institution.