Rahat Fateh Ali Khan arrested, to be produced in court


New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan was arrested by India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) Monday, a day after he was detained at the international airport here for carrying undisclosed foreign currency worth more than $100,000, an official said.

"He has been arrested and will be produced in Patiala House court later today (Monday)," a DRI official told IANS. Rahat had been taken to the DRI office at the CGO Complex Sunday after he was detained at New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport Sunday.

He was on his way back to Pakistan after attending concerts and award functions in India. More than $100,000 were recovered from the 15-member troupe. Any amount in excess of $10,000 has to be declared by a traveller to the customs.

According to officials, Rahat was questioned by senior DRI officials till late last night.

Rahat is the nephew of legendary singer late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and is popular both in India and Pakistan. His numerous hit songs from Indian films are a rage on both sides of the border, for which he has won several awards, including the recent Filmfare award for "Dil to Bacha Hai Jee". He was also a judge on the Indian music reality show "Chhote Ustad".

Pakistan has begun frantic efforts to secure the release of the singer. Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir called Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad Sharat Sabharwal and discussed the matter around midnight Sunday. He requested the Indian envoy to ensure that "no official should misbehave with Rahat during interrogation".