After nine days of uncertainty, Dr Mohammed Haneef's family breathed a collective sigh of relief on Wednesday as he called his wife Arshiya Firdaus and told her he was fine.
At 10 am, Firdaus heard from her husband for the first time since the family heard of his detention in Australia on July 2 in connection with the failed terror attacks in Britain. The call brought cheer to Haneef's brother Shaoib, mother Qurat-ul-ain, sister Summaiya and his in-laws too.
“He asked about us and the baby (Haniya, their two-week-old daughter). He said he was fine. He didn't say anything about the case,” Firdaus told the Hindustan Times.
Haneef's brother Shoaib said: “We are a little relieved now that he has called. He spoke to my sister-in-law for about a minute and a half.”
Both Firdaus and Shoaib had a message for the government. “Nobody has called us so far. Nobody has come here even after the Prime Minister showed concern for us (the families of Haneef and the other suspects, Dr Kafeel Ahmed and Dr Sabeel Ahmed),” said Shoaib.
Haneef and Firdaus married in November 2005. She lived with him in Britain and Australia before returning to Bangalore in March to spend the last months of her pregnancy with her parents.
Shoaib, a student of engineering, declined to speak of the SIM card his brother had handed over to Sabeel before migrating to Australia. “Hum sab ka tabiat teek nahin hain (our health isn't too good). I can't speak more, so please excuse me,” he said.