Though he was released by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday, there was still no relief for Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who was held at Delhi’s international airport on Sunday for carrying cash much beyond the permissible limit.
The Bollywood playback singer, who was heading for Lahore, will have to stay in India till investigations into the recovery of more than $142,000 in cash and traveller’s cheques from him and his manager, Maruf, are completed.
The nephew of legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan was released amid hectic diplomatic efforts by Islamabad to have him freed from detention.
Pakistani foreign secretary Salman Bashir took the matter up with the Indian high commissioner in Islamabad as the singer’s detention was widely reported by the Pakistani media. The neighbouring country’s interior minister Rahman Malik spoke to Pakistan’s high commissioner in New Delhi, Shahid Malik, who in turn spoke to Vivek Katju, secretary (west) in the external affairs ministry. Katju is standing in for foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, who is out of station.
A three-member team from the Pakistani high commission had met Khan and DRI officials in connection with his release. Twelve of the 15 members of Khan’s troupe were released earlier in the day.
A senior DRI official said Khan’s last five performances in the past 10 days — in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Rajkot — are under the scanner. The DRI is expected to call all his five hosts in these cities to question them on the issue. DRI officials also picked up Khan’s event manager, Chitresh Srivastava, brother of Bollywood singer and music director Adesh Srivastava, for questioning.