LAHORE: In his first interaction with the media since his arrest, renowned singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan sought to quell the conspiracy theories that abound following news that he had been manhandled in India.
“I am thankful to Indian authorities. I was not mistreated at all after I cooperated in investigations,” Khan said.
According to Khan, he had been unaware of Indian laws regarding travelling with huge sums of money. “Internationally, you can carry $10,000 while in India you can carry only $5,000. I wasn’t aware of this law,” he said.
When asked about his tax records, he vehemently said: “There is no question of not paying tax.” He said that on his international earnings, he paid taxes abroad while in Pakistan, his cheques came with tax deduction.
When asked if an Indian singer could have ‘plotted’ his arrest, Khan said: “There are all kinds of people everywhere. I have been treated very nicely in India and I will only advise caution to Pakistani artistes in India.”
“Nobody can snatch work from others. Whoever has talent gets work and my work is my share,” he said.
He refuted Indian news reports that Indian authorities had warned him against carrying cash. “The issue is settled now. I paid the fine and can go to court to get my confiscated money back. I will discuss this matter with my lawyers and then decide,” he said.
“I have been given the benefit of being an artiste. I thank Pakistani authorities, the interior minister and Pakistan’s high commissioner to India for their support,” Khan said.
“My fans are my power. I will never do anything to defame my country,” Khan concluded.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2011.
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