Imran Khan, the chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has claimed that the government wants to take him to Balochistan so that they can treat him in a similar way they treated PTI leaders Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati. Imran in the past has several times accused the incumbent government of resorting to extreme violence against the two party leaders in custody. Both were arrested on sedition charges in different cases. “They wanted to pick me up and take me straight to Balochistan… they want to treat me like Shahbaz Gil and Azam Swati, which is transparent to everyone,” he said during his hearing in Lahore High Court (LHC). Imran said that he was ready to appear in court on Saturday (today) but the government resorted to violence and attacked his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. “There has been an assassination attempt on me, therefore, my only request to the court is to transfer the Islamabad court case to some other court,” he said. He assured the court that he believed in the rule of law and has never broken any law in his life. “Even the interior minister has expressed concerns over threats to my life.” “The place where the [Islamabad] court is located is not secured … it is located in a narrow street where judges too have been attacked in the past,” he maintained. He lashed out at the government for resorting to force at his residence. “What happened at my house has never happened before and I cannot even describe it in words. Things were out of my hands. They came with an entire army as if they wanted to conquer Kashmir.” The LHC granted Imran Khan protective bail in nine cases registered against him in Lahore and Islamabad, eight of which were registered under terrorism charges. Out of the eight terrorism cases, five were registered in Islamabad – including two for vandalism at the Islamabad Judicial Complex and high court – and three in Lahore – including two for violence on March 8 and obstructing police from arresting Imran in the Zaman Park operation. A two-judge LHC bench granted Imran protective bail in the terrorism cases registered in Lahore till March 27. For the cases in Islamabad, he was granted protective bail till March 24. Separately, a single LHC bench granted the PTI chief protective bail till March 27 in a case registered at the Sarwar Road police station following the death of PTI worker Ali Bilal. The court also sought a report on the cases registered against Imran in Punjab. PTI workers and lawyers celebrated outside the LHC as the verdicts were announced. Imran arrived at the LHC in scenes reminiscent of his earlier appearance on February 20. The PTI chairman had made his way to the LHC after deciding to file separate petitions seeking protective bail in nine first information reports (FIRs) registered against him in Islamabad and Lahore. Ahead of Imran’s arrival, the LHC had directed Punjab police chief Dr Usman Anwar to facilitate the PTI chief in reaching court. The court initially said that it would hear Imran’s pleas for protective bail at 5pm but later granted time till 5:30pm. Imran arrived at the LHC a little after 5:30pm accompanied by droves of PTI supporters. His vehicle was allowed to enter the LHC premises after seeking permission from the registrar’s office. Footage broadcast on TV showed his vehicle entering court premises while some of his caravan was stopped at the gate. A large number of lawyers were also seen inside the court premises. However, Imran finally entered the courtroom nearly an hour after arriving at the court premises. Footage broadcast on TV showed police in anti-riot gear shielding the PTI chief as he entered the courtroom. As the hearing commenced before the two-judge bench, comprising Justice Tariq Saleem Sheikh and Justice Farooq Haider, Imran’s lawyer Azhar Siddique said Imran had filed pleas for protective bail in order to appear before the relevant courts. He further said that Imran had also not been informed of the details of some of the cases registered against him. At this, Justice Sheikh said that the court would only grant bail in the cases filed before it. Taking the rostrum, Imran said that there were so many cases registered against him that when he was granted bail in one, yet another would be registered. Referring to the police operation at Zaman Park, he said that it had never happened before. He thanked the LHC for stopping the police operation, saying that the court “saved him”. Justice Sheikh told the PTI chief that “the solution for all problems is found within the law”. He said that it would be better if Imran “went with the system”. “There was an assassination attempt on me,” Imran said, adding that a suicide attack had previously occurred at the court in Islamabad he was supposed to appear before. “I believe in rule of law. I cannot even imagine not appearing before the courts,” Imran said. “You have to bring yourself into the system,” Justice Sheikh said. “There was no problem in this case. You mishandled it,” the judge said. “There are 94 cases against me. If six more are registered, it will make it a century,” Imran quipped. Subsequently, the two-judge LHC bench granted Imran protective bail in eight terrorism cases. Shortly after, a single LHC bench heard Imran’s plea against the case registered against him regarding the death of PTI worker Ali Bilal. His lawyer called on the court to grant his client protective bail so that he could appear before the relevant court. PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that a “FIR was filed against everyone, including Imran Khan, in two hours” following Bilal’s death. Imran’s lawyer said that a case was registered at the Sarwar Road police station and urged the court to grant his client 10-day protective bail. “This is the Zille Shah case,” he added. Granting the request, the court granted protective bail till March 27. Imran’s lawyer also contended that authorities were not informing the PTI chief about the details of the cases registered against him. He said that no disciplinary action should be taken against Imran until the details of the cases were disclosed. At this, the lawyer for the federal government said that he was not aware of how many cases there were and in which provinces. He contended that he was representing the federal government. Subsequently, the LHC sought a report on the details of the cases registered against Imran across Punjab by Tuesday and also stopped any disciplinary action against the PTI chief. Earlier in the day, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) suspended non-bailable arrest warrants issued for Imran till March 18, providing him with a chance to appear before the trial court hearing the Toshakhana reference against the former premier. Meanwhile, Imran Khan stated that more than 70 party workers have been arrested in Islamabad. This follows Tuesday and Wednesday’s events in which hundreds of Imran Khan’s supporters armed with batons, iron rods, and sling shots surrounded his Lahore home and fought with security forces attempting to arrest him. A temporary lull in the standoff occurred when the Lahore High Court ordered police to postpone the operation to arrest the former cricket star. “The fascist Imported govt & their handlers continue to target our workers & l[ea]d[e]rship,” Imran wrote on his official Twitter handle. “Today (Friday) they have arbitrarily arrested more than 70 of our workers in Islamabad. This is condemnable & absolutely unacceptable. They must be released immediately,” he added.