Haneef’s wife elated, wants him back like ‘normal person’


Bangalore : She's thrilled that the Australian government has absolved her doctor husband Muhammad Haneef of the charge of supporting terrorism, but Firdous Arshiya says he must return like a "normal person".

Support TwoCircles

"His visa should be restored and he should be allowed to return like any normal person," said an elated Firdous after news came in that all charges had been dropped against her husband, who was arrested July 2 in Brisbane in connection with the foiled British bombings.

She said her cousin Imran Siddiqui and Haneef's lawyers had called her earlier in the day to inform her that the Australian government had cleared her husband.

"I talked to them for only a few minutes," Firdous, who gave birth to a baby girl on June 26, told reporters at her father's house in the middle class locality of BTM Layout here,

"He should be given a bridge visa and not deported," Firdous said, adding that she expected Haneef to return home in two or three days.

Thanking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the government of India, the Indian people and media for their support all these days, she said she was particularly grateful to Australians for their help.

"It played an important role (in the dropping of charges).

"I do not know," Firdous replied to a question on whether Haneef would like to continue to work in Australia if allowed.

"I do not want to say anything on that matter," she told an Australian journalist who wanted her reaction to the demands back home for the resignation Immigration and Citizenship Minister Kevin Andrews, responsible for the cancellation of Haneef's 457 work visa, and others for the botched handling of Haneef's case.

Australian police detained the 27-year-old Gold Coast doctor July 2 when he was on way to India on a one-way ticket.

He was charged with "recklessly" supporting a terrorist organisation by giving his mobile SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed, involved in the failed British bombings.

Haneef was subsequently granted bail by a Brisbane magistrate, but his visa was immediately revoked and he was sent to solitary confinement.