Modi made no extradition request for Zakir Naik, says Mahathir Mohamad
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday disputed India’s claims that Narendra Modi had requested him to return Zakir Naik.
The Indian Islamic preacher is wanted in India on terrorism charges and has taken shelter in the Asian nation.
Mahathir said that Modi, whom he met in Russia during an economic forum earlier this month, made no extradition request for Naik despite an official notice from New Delhi.
“Not many countries want him. I met with Modi. He didn’t ask me for this man,” Mahathir told the Kuala Lumpur-based BFM Malaysia radio station on Tuesday morning.
He said that the city of Putrajaya is still looking for a place to send the 53-year-old Naik.
Mahathir, however, said that Zakir Naik will no longer be allowed to publicly speak in Malaysia following his racially divisive remarks which include saying that the Chinese should be sent back to China.
“Well, he’s not a national of this country. He has been given, I think by the previous government, permanent residence status. A permanent resident isn’t supposed to make any comments on this country’s systems and politics. He has breached that. He is now not allowed to speak.
“We are trying to find some place he can go to but at the moment, no one wants to accept him,” the Prime Minister added.
The Mumbai-born founder of ‘Peace TV’ has been living in Malaysia since 2017 after fleeing from India.
Last month, Naik was banned from delivering public talks in every state in Malaysia by the police in the interest of national security.