New Delhi: Responding to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s statement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had not requested Malaysia for the extradition of Zakir Naik, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday rather said there is an extradition request for the controversial Islamic preacher.
“There is an extradition request for Zakir Naik. We want him back and that is what we are working towards,” the union minister said on Tuesday while addressing a press conference.
The 53-year-old radical Islamic preacher left India in 2016 and then moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
Earlier in the day, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said in a statement that not many countries want Naik and India has not insisted.
“Not many countries want him. India has not insisted. I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he did not ask me that he wants this man back. This man could be troublesome for India,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Earlier, PM Modi had met Mahathir on the sidelines of 5th East Economic Forum in Russia. After the meeting, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that the two leaders have discussed the extradition of Naik.
Prime Minister Modi raised the issue of Naik’s extradition while meeting Mahathir. Both the parties have decided that four officials will stay in contact regarding the matter ansd it is an important issue for us,” Gokhale had said earlier.
Naik, who is wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 for alleged money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches, has also been banned from holding any public rally in Malaysia.