Will need ‘more evidence, documents’ on extradition of Dr. Zakir Naik: Malaysia

New Delhi: Malaysian MP and PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim on Thursday said that Malaysia would require more evidence from New Delhi before it can act on any request made for the extradition of Indian National and Renowned Islamic preacher Zakir Naik.

It must be recalled that India has made a request for the extradition of Zakir Naik who was given permanent residency status by the previous Malaysian government led by Najib Razak, HT reports.

Current PM Mahathir Mohamad on the request made last year said in July that his government will look at all factors before deciding on Naik’s case.

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“I’ve seen that Prime Minister Mahathir has already said we are looking into it, we are waiting for more arguments or the case from India, for the Malaysian government to look at it because what we have now is a request to bring back (Naik),” Ibrahim said on the sidelines of a meeting with Indian Muslim intellectuals.

Speaking shortly after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ibrahim shedding some light into the meeting said he had made it very clear “that issues of terrorism, in any way, will never be supported or condoned by the Malaysian government”.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has accused renowned Islamic preacher Zakir Naik for allegedly inciting youngsters to take up terror activities and accused him of giving hate speeches and promoting enmity between communities.

He is falsely accused of inspiring a terrorist attack on a popular café in Dhaka in 2016.

Dr. Zakir Naik has lived in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia since he left India more than two years ago.

On India’s extradition request, Ibrahim said the Malaysian government will still require India to furnish “documents and reasons”.

“I think you must appreciate the fact that the Malaysian government needs to study this. This is a case mentioned by India, we respect (their views) but the Malaysian government has to look at it and study the case. I’m not in the government per se, but I understand the fact that (Mahathir) is personally looking into it,” he said.

When asked if Malaysia would act once more evidence is provided by India, he replied: “I think at this stage, Malaysia is waiting for the documents. If they say that they have supplied (them), Malaysia will look at it positively and then the government will, of course, have to decide.”

According to sources, the Malaysian leader in his meeting with Modi discussed bilateral, regional and global matters of mutual interest.

While Modi congratulated Ibrahim on being elected president of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat, the dominant player in Malaysia’s ruling alliance.

“We engaged in a few subjects. Prime Minister Modi met Prime Minister Mahathir recently, and we are keen to ensure bilateral relations stay on the best terms and include education and culture,” Ibrahim said.

“India also feels, and we share the concern, that we should extend this understanding and collaboration that covers security interests of the region,” he added.

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