Toronto Sun

Friday, March 2, 2001

Pakistan pop star files suit on feds

Canada 'nightmare'


A pop star dubbed the "Bruce Springsteen of Pakistan" has filed a $20-million lawsuit against the immigration department alleging wrongful arrest and detention.

Sami Adnan Khan, 30, was picked up in Oakville in November 1998 by immigration officers who alleged he had abducted his son, Azaan, 6, and was inadmissible to Canada.

After Khan was held in jail for 15 days, the charges were dropped. He was ordered later to leave Canada because his visitor's visa had expired.

"His time in Canada was a nightmare," Khan's lawyer, Gary Clewley, said yesterday. "He is not happy with the way he was treated."

Clewley said the Pakistani film star and musician had been engaged in a bitter custody dispute for Azaan with his movie star ex-wife, Zeba Bakhtiar.

Khan, who has acted in several films and sold 4.5 million records worldwide, is still fighting for custody of his son, Clewley said.

In his statement of claim, Khan said during the 11 months he remained in Canada for hearings he lost $5 million in cancelled concerts, performances and recording obligations.

Immigration spokesman Giovanna Gatti refused comment.

Copyright © 2001, Canoe Limited Partnership.