Singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan on Thursday was not allowed to leave Hyderabad ‘s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, where had landed to perform for a New Year eve programme.
According to a PTI report, Khan had directly landed in Hyderabad from Abu Dhabi, but was sent back because Pakistani nationals are only allowed to enter the country through Delhi and Mumbai.
Khan was forced to take a flight to Abu Dhabi and and returned to Hyderabad for his performance.
The 42-year-old singer has blamed the airlines for the fiasco adding that the authorities were only following the rules.
”He (Khan) landed here yesterday morning. But he was denied entry as he did not fulfill immigration rules. So he was sent back (to Abu Dhabi)”, he told the news agency.
Khan added, “The authorities and I were right in our own ways and the airline in question was wrong as they should have known that as a Pakistani national which ports in India we are authorised to travel.”
A senior official of an airlines later said that Pakistani nationals could enter India only through Delhi and Mumbai airports.
“Khan had to go back to Abu Dhabi and flew back to Delhi. From there he came to Hyderabad and performed at the event,” Ena Sharma, an official associated with the event, said.
Meanwhile, a senior police official said the movements of all Pakistani nationals entering the country are recorded at the entry points of New Delhi and Mumbai.
Since Hyderabad does not figure into the authorised entry points, Pakistani nationals are not allowed to enter the country through this airport, he added.
The immigration official said that Khan was deported back to UAE by the same UAE-based airlines.
Khan, who’s a niece of legendary Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, has been a very popular Bollywood singer. Amogst his many hits in the past are ‘Mann ki lagan’, ‘Jiya dhadak dhadak’, ‘Bol na halke halke’ and ‘Dagabaaz re.’