Will Zakir Naik feature in Modi-Mahathir Mohamad talks in Malaysia?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will make a short halt in Malaysia on Thursday, May 31, while heading to Singapore from Indonesia - his second international destination in his three-nation visit. The prime minister will meet his Malaysian counterpart - the 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad - who recently came to power after a historic election, and greet him on his victory and speak on trade and other relations between the two countries.
But though things seem to go smooth during Modi's short stay in Malaysia, one also wonders whether the controversial issue of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik will come up at this time. Both Indian and Malaysian authorities face discomfort over the controversial Malaysia-based Islamic preacher who is accused of inciting youth to take up jihad.
India sought extradition of Naik in March this year after the National Investigation Agency completed the formalities of collecting evidence and filing charge-sheet against him, reports said. The development occurred at a time when Malaysia said it is ready to extradite him. It will be interesting to see what stance the new regime in Kuala Lumpur takes on the issue.
Zaik has few takers in Malaysia as well. In January this year, the citizens of the country filed a petition in a high court in Kuala Lumpur saying the man was a threat to Malaysia and his residence in the country should be revoked.
In October 2017, the NIA chargesheeted Naik on charges of insulting various religious beliefs and instigating jihadi recruits to indulge in terror acts.