Kuala Lumpur: Controversial preacher Zakir Naik who is wanted in cases related to money laundering and terrorism met Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad on Saturday.
The meeting comes a day after the Malaysian PM rejected India’s request to deport Naik.
Responding to a question during a press briefing, the Malaysian PM on Friday had said his government won’t deport Naik as long as he is not creating problem in Malaysia.
“As long as he [Naik] is not creating any problem [in Malaysia], we will not deport him because he has been given permanent resident status,” the Malaysian PM said.
On Saturday, Malaysian news channels also aired photographs wherein Naik is seen with the PM. Earlier in the week, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) made a formal request to the Malaysian government to consider its request to deport Naik.
“We had made a formal request for the extradition of Zakir Naik, who is an Indian National living in Malaysia, as per the extradition treaty we have with Malaysian side. At this stage, our request is under the active consideration of Malaysian side,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had said.
Zakir Naik’s name first emerged as an accused in the probe into the Gulshan attack in Bangladesh in July 2016. Reports then had said that at least two attackers involved in the act were “inspired by his [Naik’s] preaching on Islam”.
Since then, Indian agencies have been in touch with Bangladesh and Malaysia to collect more evidence against him. While Bangladesh has assured it will cooperate, nothing substantial could be achieved with Malaysia.