Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rahat’s visa to be extended

New Delhi: With India deciding to extend the visa of Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and resolve the matter (of him illegally carrying $1.24 lakh) possibly through “adjudication” after February 17, Islamabad on Tuesday thanked New Delhi for the “assistance and cooperation” and promised that he would cooperate fully with the Indian probe agencies.
Pakistan interior minister Rahman Malik spoke to home minister P Chidambaram over phone and thanked him for the release of the noted singer who was detained by revenue enforcement authorities at Delhi airport for allegedly carrying huge cash illegally on Sunday. Malik thanked Chidambaram for “extending his assistance and cooperation in regard to the matter relating to singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan”, the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement here.
It said: “The interior minister also assured Chidambaram of Rahat’s full cooperation in the matter, in accordance with the law of the land.” Meanwhile, Union home secretary G K Pillai said: “His (the singer) visa has expired. It will be extended.”
Stating that Khan’s passport has been impounded and the singer asked to appear before the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on February 17, the home secretary said: “We hope that post 17th (February), there could be adjudication proceeding and we hope that the matter would be resolved.” About possible adjudication proceeding against Khan, sources saidthe singer may be booked under the Customs Act or under FEMA rules and be “eventually cleared” after legal process.
The singer was detained by revenue enforcement authorities at IGI airport for allegedly carrying $1.24 lakh in cash and two demand drafts of over $18,600.

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