Sovereignty and Immigration, the Haneef case
Sometimes, I wonder if we Indians grok the concept of immigration at all. Perhaps we really do believe that the world is without borders, and that the immigration counters at airports are just inconveniences. Perhaps, we also think that the Government of India’s sovereign extends to the affairs of all human beings with Indian blood (see my posts on the PIO University).
The Haneef case – What is India protesting ?
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) summoned the Australian envoy and demanded that Haneef be treated “justly and fairly” under Australian law. This is fine and the MEA indignation and the media circus must stop here. The Indian government must not express outrage at the cancellation of his visa or his deportation back to India. I can fully understand the anxiety of Haneefs relatives and friends, but they need to be patient.
Australia has every right to run him through their legal system. There is no evidence that the Australians have presumed him to be guilty. It must be remembered that Australia has an anti-terror law. The Congress led UPA government might have found POTA useless, it does not mean the rest of the world agrees. Indeed the Australian anti-terror law makes it an offence to even send funds to a terror group. Instead of acting coy and offended, India must extend all help to the Australian investigating authorities.
India is in for a Reality Check
Pardon me for the following statement, but there is a reason why Indians flock to Western (read “white mans”) countries. Even after such alleged mistreatment, why must Haneef fight deportation? Why cant he just say, “To hell with you and your laws” – and return to India ?
I have asked this question to many NRI folks, the answers range from better environment, freedom, tastier fruits and thicker milk, to roads, to 911. I suspect the real answer is along the lines of , “Hey, we can let these white guys do all the nation building (or maintaining). We will let them deal with root issues maintaining the sanctity of the constitution, coming up with laws, the environment, and basic liberties. That would be cool because we can just focus on our jobs. All we have to do is follow a well codified set of rules. We get our promotions, our house, and cars. How easy is that ?”
Guess what, Western countries also put their foot down when challenges are thrown to their sovereignity. There is no scope for “adjustment”. They may appear to be room for parties with divergent views, but their goals of the parties will be in alignment. For example : Do you really think the American Democrats will repeal the Patriot Act like the UPA did with POTA ?
See what the Attorney General Phillip Ruddock has to say :
Mohammed Haneef was granted conditional bail by a Brisbane Magistrate despite anti-terrorism laws stipulating a presumption against bail in such cases.
Philip Ruddock has told Lateline it is one area the Government is concerned about.
“The matter that I will be looking at very seriously is this question of the presumption against bail, there was an expectation as to how it would operate and if appeals suggest that we’ve got it wrong, well it’s a matter that the Parliament might well be asked to put right,” he said
Source : ABC Australia
Perhaps this is shocking to people in India under the UPA rule. Mr Ruddock is actually wants to take this to the Parliament to make the anti-terror laws even tougher. See his retort to his domestic liberal critics.
FACED with hostile media questions about the laws governing the detention of Mohammed Haneef last week, Attorney-General Philip Ruddock cut to the chase. “I tell you,” Ruddock shot back, “you would be asking me different kinds of questions if these inquiries were truncated unnecessarily and some terrible event happened in Australia. You’d be after me unmercifully.”
So, Haneef is a known associate of two men who allegedly tried to blow up central London and drove a car loaded with petrol bombs into Glasgow airport. Not only that, he’s connected to them via the mechanism used to try to detonate the bombs. On what reading of these facts can you argue against laws designed to at least pick Haneef up and subject him to a sustained period of questioning?
Source : The Australian
We hope the MEA knows its limits and not trespass on sovereign nations’ rights to formulate their own laws. If private Indian citizens perceive any such laws as draconian, they are completely free to boycott those countries where such laws are in force. They can stay back in India or immigrate to other countries.