A few days ago, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan read that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) would be questioning him during his next visit to India. The 37-year-old Pakistani singer was detained on February 14, 2011, at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport after $1.24 lakh was allegedly recovered from their possession. News from Lahore is that he is willing to meet the ED officials, but before that he has hired a law firm and despatched a team to India to try and resolve the matter.
Confirming this, Salman Ahmed who is leading the team which landed in India yesterday, told, “When Rahat read the news, the first thing that came to his mind was that why this move after three years and why he hasn’t received any official intimation from ED on the subject. But without wasting time, he decided to quickly clear the decks because he wants to fly down to India in November.”
Ahmed asserted that they are ready to meet every official, from every department that matters, to clear the issue. “We have a UK- based law firm who will look into every detail. If ED is not satisfied with just us, Rahat saab will come and discuss the matter personally and provide them with whatever is required. This whole thing has been going on for too long,” he maintained.
In an interview, Rahat had said, “I wasn’t aware of the upper limit for the foreign currency one is supposed to carry. Mind you, we were 14 people, which is why we had such a big amount with us. We were penalised, but that’s over now. Yes, I haven’t come to India after that, but I will do so in 2014.”
Post the 2011 incident, Rahat has lost out on several assignments in India. Endorsing this, Ahmed said, “Rahat saab has sung over 80 songs in Hindi films. And songs do make a difference. He sang for blockbusters like Dabangg, Dabangg 2 and Bodyguard and you cannot discount the fact that his songs contributed to the success of these films.”
Adding to Rahat’s woes, he lost his manager in India, Chitresh who was Aadesh Shrivastava’s elder brother, in a car crash when they were travelling together from Detroit to Chicago during a concert tour. “Chitresh handled his work in India. His death was a huge setback,” Ahmed pointed out.
Rahat meanwhile has been busy with international shows. Yesterday, he returned from a concert tour in Nairobi, Kenya, Durban, Johanessburg and Capetown which was completely sold out. All efforts to get him to speak on the issue were futile as he was sleeping off a jet lag