Decision on Zakir Naik’s Extradition Still Pending: Malaysia
Malaysian Minister of Human Resources M Kulasegaran told Sushma Swaraj that his government has not taken any decision on extraditing Naik to India.
A senior Malaysian minister has said that his country is yet to decide on whether or not to extradite controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to India, who is currently in the country with a permanent resident status.
Naik, the founder of Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) is wanted in India over terror and money laundering related charges after India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet against him last year. Earlier this year, the Indian government made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Naik.
According to news agency PTI, Malaysian Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran had a meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Oct.8 in New Delhi where he told that his government is yet to decide on deporting Naik to India. Swaraj had raised the issue of Naik’s early extradition with Kulasegaran during the meeting.
“She was asking for the latest on Zakir Naik, whether he will be deported from Malaysia, I did say that no final decision has been taken by the Malaysian government,” PTI cited him as telling. He said that the Malaysian government could also leave the matter for the courts to decide.
The news agency also quoted him telling that even if the Malaysian government decides to deport him, Naik will have the right to challenge it.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had said in July this year that Malaysia will not deport Naik, unless he creates any problem in the country.
“As long as he is not creating any problem, we will not deport him because he has been given permanent residency status,” news agency AFP cited Mohamad as saying.
Zakir Naik had left India in 2016 after the terrorists in Bangladesh, who had attacked public places killing many, claimed that they were inspired by Naik’s speeches on Jihad. Last year the Indian government revoked his passport after he failed to respond to the show cause notice issued to him.
The Indian Ministry of Home Affairs banned Naik’s NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in 2016 terming it as “unlawful organization.” Apart from terror funding and money laundering charges, he has also been accused of promoting religious hatred among people in India through his talks and speeches.