Haneef wants apology for ‘peace loving India’


Bangalore : Indian doctor Muhammad Haneef Monday said he did not expect an apology from the Australian authorities for detaining him for 27 days as part of a bungled terror investigation, but "would appreciate an apology for my peace loving country and its citizens in India".

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Speaking to media persons here Monday evening, a day after his return to India, Haneef said he wanted to return to Australia to work and would "fight" to get his cancelled work visa back.

Haneef, who was held July 2 in Brisbane over the foiled British terror plots, also said he was a "true follower of Islam" and did not "want any one to be victimised in the name of terrorism as I have been".

While thanking the Indian government and its people, as well as his lawyer Peter Russo and people in Australia for supporting him, Haneef said he was "overwhelmed by support received here and in Australia. I am happy to be at home in India with my family."

To a question on whether he was planning to sue the Australian government for his detention, Haneef said he had not yet sought legal advice on the matter.

Earlier, Peter Russo said that Haneef had taken a week's leave to travel home and it was not true that he was fleeing Australia.

Russo also said that he could not go to India when his wife had a child as he could not arrange for someone to stand in for him at the Gold Coast Hospital in Queensland.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard had said in Sydney Monday that when dealing with terrorism it was better to be safe than sorry, and Australia would not say "sorry" to Muhammad Haneef.

"Australia will not be apologising to Dr. Haneef," Howard told reporters and said "he (Haneef) was not victimised".