Melbourne, Dec 24: Bangalore-based doctor and former terrorism suspect Mohamed Haneef says he needs a reassurance from Australian authorities that he and his family would be safe in Australia before he can consider returning to the country. Speaking publicly for the first time since the Australian Government's decision on Friday to reinstate him in the oncology department of Queensland's Gold Coast Hospital, Dr Haneef today said he wanted to return to Australia to continue his medical career, but would not do so without his family.
"There is no way. I like my family and love my family, and live for my family. There's nothing above my family, not my job, not my career," news.com.au quoted Haneef as telling his lawyer Peter Russo on the phone from Mecca. Dr Haneef said he wanted to return to Australia to continue his medical training, as he was yet to find a job in India.
New Labor Immigration Minister Chris Evans has said that Haneef is entitled to return to work after the full bench of the Federal Court upheld a judge's earlier decision to reinstate his work visa.
Dr. Haneef said his wife Firdous was reluctant to accompany him to Australia with their newborn baby because "of the trauma which I have undergone throughout this ordeal".
"I would say that we would need reassurance from the authorities as well as the police that there wouldn't be any harm to us when we return back there to Australia. Unless we get reassured of that, she (Firdous) is very reluctant," Haneef said.
Queensland Health said on Saturday it would consider any application from Dr Haneef to be employed in Queensland. He must, however, first obtain a work visa from the Commonwealth and appropriate registration from the Medical Board of Queensland.