Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday rejected the claim that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked for controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to be extradited to India.
"Not many countries want him (Naik). India has not insisted. When I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he did not ask me that he wants this man back. This man could be troublesome for India," Mr Mahathir said in an interview with Malaysian radio station BFM's show, the Breakfast Grille, reports ANI.PM Modi had met Mahathir Mohamad on the sidelines of the 5th East Economic Forum in Russia's Far Eastern city earlier this month. Following their meeting, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale had said that the two leaders discussed the extradition of Naik.
"Prime Minister Modi raised the issue of Zakir Naik's extradition. Both the parties have decided that our officials will stay in contact regarding the matter and it is an important issue for us," Mr Gokhale had said then.
Mr Naik, who has been living in Malaysia for the last three years, is facing charges of inciting communal disharmony and committing unlawful activities in India. He is also facing probe both in India and Bangladesh in connection with the terror attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on July 2016.
Insisting that Zakir Naik was given permanent citizenship under the previous government, Mr Mahathir said that Kuala Lumpur is trying to find a "place" to send Naik.