Rahman Malik thanks Chidambaram over Rahat''s release

New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) Pakistan today thanked HomeMinister P Chidambaram for his "assistance and cooperation" ingetting noted Pakistani singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan releasedafter being detained at Delhi airport for carrying excess cashand assured that he would cooperate fully in the matter.

Pakistan Interior Minister Rahman Malik called upChidambaram to convey his gratitude.

Malik thanked Chidambaram for "extending his assistanceand cooperation in regard to the matter relating to QawwaliSinger Rahat Fateh Ali Khan," Pakistan High Commission said ina statement here.

The Interior Minister also assured Chidambaram ofRahat�s "full cooperation in the matter, in accordance withthe law of the land", it said.

Khan was detained by revenue enforcement authorities atthe Delhi airport on Sunday for allegedly carrying USD 1.24lakh in cash and two demand drafts for over USD 18,600 when hewas returning home.

He was released last evening after questioning by theDirectorate of Revenue Intelligence officials for nearly 24hours.

Rahat, whose passport has been seized, has been askedto report to the DRI officials again on Thursday for furtherquestioning.

Carrying enormous amounts of money without declarationis an offence under customs rules and attract charges underForeign Exchange Management Act.

Pakistan had yesterday asked India to immediately endKhan''s "protective custody".

Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir spoke with IndianHigh Commissioner in Islamabad Sharat Sabharwal and urged thatthe singer be released.

Pakistan High Commissioner in Delhi Shahid Malik alsospoke to Secretary (West) Vivek Katju, "insisting theprotective custody be lifted," Pakistan Foreign Office hadsaid yesterday.

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