Rahat Ali thanks Indian Govt for support, very good treatment during detention

Thursday, February 24, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan has appreciated the Indian Government’s efforts to secure his release following his detention at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for allegedly attempting to leave the country with over 124,000 dollars.

“I am thankful to the Indian Government for understanding our stance. They treated us like true artists should be treated,” The Express Tribune quoted Khan, as saying while talking to media persons at the Lahore Airport after his arrival in Pakistan.

The singer also appreciated the support of some Indian artists who had given him support during his detention.

Khan emphasised that he was never mistreated by Indian authorities during the ordeal, and also shot down claims of threats from any extremist groups during his stay in India.

He said he was happy to return home, and thanked the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, which had intervened in his detention case on the orders of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry.

Earlier this month, Khan was charged with violating India’s Foreign Exchange Management Act and customs rules, and had to pay a fine of 33,216 dollars for trying to smuggle large quantities of cash out of the country.

Under Indian customs rules, visitors are allowed to carry only 5,000 dollars in cash in and out of the country.

Khan said he was carrying more than the permitted amount of money because he was oblivious of the Indian law in this regard.

“It’s a customs law which I did not know about. The law says that you cannot carry more than 5000 dollars. We were a group of 14 people. And we had booked our tickets on one PNR number. So that proves that the money belonged to all 14 of us,” the musician explained.

Khan, a nephew of late Pakistani music legend Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, is rated as one of the top singers in Bollywood today. Along with his group, Khan was boarding a plane to Lahore via Dubai on February 13 when authorities found 124,000 dollars in cash in their bags. (ANI)

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