Following last week’s airport incident, when Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and his manager were stopped and detained at New Delhi’s airport, the singer has now been charged with violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act.
The High Commissioner for Pakistan in New Delhi said that the nature of the charges were still unclear, but stated that the situation was being closely monitored.
The Press Trust of India reported that “heavy penalties” could be levied on both Rahat and his manager, Maroof.
Some Indian singers have taken this as an opportunity to suggest that there may be a bigger story in play, saying that Rahat is part of a larger Pakistani spy game. In response, another Pakistani singer commented, “No one is showing support. He has broken a foreign-exchange rule, but to insinuate that he is a spy or involved in a hawala scam is just spiteful and mean.” The singer asked to remain anonymous.
He also went on to say that since Pakistanis are not allowed to open bank accounts in India, Rahat perhaps had no other option or was “unaware” of the laws.
“Has anyone bothered to find out why Rahat’s financial transaction in India is done in cash? The truth is that we Pakistani artists are not allowed to open any bank account on Indian soil,” he said, before adding, “It took Adnan Sami several years to establish bank services for his money in India. And after a decade in India he still can’t own property!”
For now, no one seems quite sure about the exact nature of the investigation, and Rahat’s side of the story is yet to be revealed too.
Till then, the Rahat Fateh Ali Khan saga continues.