Saturday, November 03, 2007

The Haneef issue

"Wow! You are getting new roads around here.", I stated the very obvious happening in the streets of Hyderabad. "Yes, it's an election stunt", was the rather smart reply coming from my 10 year old cousin. Oddly, the part of new roads being an election stunt was very obvious as well. That was back in 1991.

Any casual observation of a politician's activities in a democratic country will make things very obvious that most of the good deeds they are doing is an election stunt. Even 10 year-old's cannot be fooled.

Caught in such a good deed by Australian immigration minister Kevin Andrews was the Indian doctor Mohammed Haneef. Being a distant relative of the suspects in a terror attack in the UK made Haneef find himself in detention in Brisbane. Subsequently, charges were laid and due to lack of evidence, bail was granted. In what involved knees and its jerks (pun-intended) the honorable Immigration Minister promptly cancelled Haneef's work visa on character grounds. At this point it is worth pointing that Dr Haneef had a temporary work visa in Australia and his departure from Australia was viewed as suspicious.

One would dismiss such an act as an unfortunate misjudgement on the minister's part, but for the subsequent acts of his office. The office leaked selective information without context to the press to show that Haneef was indeed guilty. Laying mortar is a relatively easy task accomplished for another tenure in office, but these kinds of slip ups was enough battery charge to kick start the Australian opposition parties into laying it thick on the ruling party and demanding enquiry into the whole fiasco..

What both parties unfortunately overlook is the protection of law and order (rather respect to it) and ultimately Haneef's well being. As Australia gets closer to elections, I hope everyone here sees through both party's pithy bickering.

As an aside, this is what happened to another terror convict David Hicks. Another pre-election stunt? You decide.