Indian authorities release Pakistani singer
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Indian authorities release Pakistani singer

NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian authorities released a popular Pakistani singer Monday but asked him not to leave the country a day after he was detained at the New Delhi airport carrying more than $100,000, much larger than the legal amount.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and two other members of his entourage were questioned for more than 20 hours and their passports were taken by Indian authorities, the Press Trust of India news agency said.

Khan and two others have been asked to appear again before India’s revenue intelligence officials on Feb. 17, the PTI said.

Indian officials were not immediately available for comments.

Earlier, Pakistan’s foreign ministry called for the release of Khan and two others who were taken into custody at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday while trying to fly to the United Arab Emirates.

Khan was found carrying $124,000 that he did not declare to customs authorities, PTI said.

Indian law requires foreigners to declare all money they are carrying in excess of $5,000 in cash and another $5,000 in traveler’s checks.

Khan is quite popular in India, holding concerts in the country and singing in Bollywood movies. He is a nephew of late legendary Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan.

“He should be allowed to go to his hotel and whatever investigation should go on. The Pakistani foreign secretary and the high commissioner in New Delhi have both made formal appeals for Khan’s release,” Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s foreign ministry spokesman, said in Islamabad.

Basit said 12 people traveling with Khan were released earlier.