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Haneef case: Pranab talks to Australian FM
July 19, 2007 19:13 IST
The Indian government on Thursday stepped up its initiative in the Mohammed Haneef case, with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee speaking to his Australian counterpart Alexander Downer and asking him to ensure fair and just treatment to the detained doctor under the law of the land.
Mukherjee conveyed to Downer the "concern of the Indian government and people" as they discussed the developments related to Haneef's case, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said.
Mukherjee asked Downer to ensure that Haneef, who has been held on terror charges, is "treated fairly and justly under the Australian law", Sarna said.
The telephonic conversation came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] said that Australia should extend all facilities and rights within its laws to the Bangalore doctor, held in connection with a failed terror attack in UK.
"They (Australia) ought to extend all the facilities within the law and the rights he is entitled to," Singh said.
The prime minister's response came when his reaction was sought on the actions of the Australian authorities who charged Haneef with recklessly supporting a terrorist organisation.
Haneef, who was detained at Brisbane airport on July 2, has been accused of providing a mobile phone SIM card to his cousin Sabeel Ahmed who was allegedly involved in the failed terror plots in London [Images] and Glasgow.
The external affairs ministry summoned Australian High Commissioner John McCarthy two days back to convey its concern and emphasise that the doctor needs to be treated in a fair manner.