New Delhi: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has rejected India’s claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked for controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s extradition to India.
The development comes after Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, in a press conference on September 5, said that the Prime Minister had asked his Malaysian counterpart to extradite Zakir Naik. The two leaders had met in Russia on the sidelines of the 5th Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
Speaking to the Malaysian radio station BFM, the Malaysian Prime Minister said, “Not many countries want Zakir Naik and India, too, has not insisted.” He continued, “I recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and he did not say that he wants Zakir Naik back. He could be troublesome for India.”
The Mumbai-born Naik has been living in Malaysia since 2016 as he is facing charges of inciting communal disharmony and committing unlawful activities in India. He is also facing a probe in both India and Bangladesh over accusations that some of the terrorists who attacked a bakery in Dhaka in July 2016, were influenced by his speeches.
He claims that he is a permanent citizen of Malaysia as he was granted permanent citizenship by the previous Najib Razak government.
Recently, however, the government threatened to revoke his permanent citizenship over his remarks on non-Muslim minorities, especially the Chinese and the Hindus, in Malaysia, forcing him to apologise.
He also recently released a statement, condemning India’s revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. In the statement, he called Kashmir ‘another Palestine in the making.’