India Rebuts Mahathir's Remark On Zakir Naik

  • 18 Sep 2019

India has asserted that it has been "persistently and relentlessly" pursuing the extradition of controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik.

Its Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said this in response to a remark by Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's remark yesterday that India has not insisted on Naik's extradition. 

“Let me make it very clear for the record. There is an extradition request (sent in January 2018). We want Zakir Naik back and that is what we are working on,” Jaishankar was quoted saying by the Hindustan Times. 

Jaishankar also said the extradition issue was raised in the meeting between Mahathir and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Russia earlier this month. 

In an interview with business radio station BFM yesterday, Mahathir claimed that India has not insisted on Naik's return, adding that no other other country was willing to accept Naik. 

"I met (Indian Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and he didn't (tell) me that he wants this man back. This man could also be troublesome for India," the premier was quoted. 

Earlier this month, Mahathir also said that Modi had only mentioned Naik's name "in passing" during their meeting, but did not ask for anything. 

"Instead, he focused most of his time to explain the problems in Jammu and Kashmir," Mahathir was quoted. 

Naik, who holds a permanent resident status in Malaysia, is wanted in India on money-laundering charges in India. He has denied the charges. 

Mahathir has previously said that the Indian-born Naik would not get fair treatment if extradited to India. 

Source: Hindustan Times
Photo source: Zakir Naik Facebook