We will return Zakir Naik back if India asks: Malaysia’s Deputy PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Televangelist Dr Zakir Naik will be sent back if Indian government requests that he be extradited, said Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi during the debate on Budget 2018 in the Dewan Rakyat.

“If the Indian government makes a request to extradite him (Naik) based on Mutual Legal Assistance, we will return him. “So far, there is no such request,” he said, reported Malay Mail Online.

Zahid Hamidi, who is also the home minister, confirmed that the 52-year-old preacher had not applied for Malaysian citizenship.

“Until now, there is no application (from Dr Zakir) to become a citizen,” Zahid said.

Zahid added that Malaysia would not revoke Dr Zakir’s permanent residency (PR) status as he follows Malaysia’s laws and does not promote violence.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged Naik and the Mumbai-based non-profit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) that he founded in 1991 with indulging in unlawful activities and promoting religious hatred.

The government has imposed a five-year ban on the IRF under the country’s anti-terror laws and has declared Naik an absconder.