India seeks Naik’s extradition, MEA rejects Malaysian PM’s remarks
In an interview with a Malaysian radio station published online on Tuesday, Mohamad said India had not “insisted” on the return of Naik and that Modi had not asked for him to be handed over when the two leaders met on the margins of a business event in the Russian city of Vladivostok this month.Updated: Sep 18, 2019 02:32 IST
India on Tuesday rejected Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks that his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, had not sought the handing over of Zakir Naik, saying his extradition request as been pending with Kuala Lumpur since January 2018.
In an interview with a Malaysian radio station published online on Tuesday, Mohamad said India had not “insisted” on the return of Naik and that Modi had not asked for him to be handed over when the two leaders met on the margins of a business event in the Russian city of Vladivostok this month.
Asked about Mohamad’s remarks, external affairs minister S Jaishankar said at a news conference on Tuesday that India had “persistently and relentlessly” pursued at all levels an extradition request for Naik filed with Malaysia in January.
“Let me make it clear for the record – there is an extradition request for Zakir Naik, we want Zakir Naik back and that is what we are working towards,” he said.
“My understanding of the Vladivostok meeting is that the Zakir Naik issue did come up and the expectation was communicated from our side that the officials concerned should meet quickly and sort out this matter to our satisfaction,” he added.
Naik faces charges of money laundering and hate speech in India, was at the centre of a fresh controversy last month after he said Malaysian Hindus were more loyal to the Indian PM. Malaysian police barred Naik from addressing an Islamic event in August and summoned him for quizzing over “racist remarks”.
During the radio interview, Mohamad had said, “India has not insisted. I met Mr Modi, he did not ask me that he wants this man back. This man could also be troublesome for India.”