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Modi discusses Dr Zakir Naik's extradition with Mahathir Mohamad

Zakir Naik is wanted in India in a money laundering case filed against him by Directorate of Enforcement (ED)

Thursday September 5, 2019 3:37 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Modi Mahathir Zakir Naik

Vladivostok (Russia): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday took up with his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohamad the issue of extradition of Islamic preacher Dr Zakir Naik, who is wanted by Indian agencies but is living in Malaysia.

Modi took up the matter with Mahathir Mohamad during their bilateral meeting here on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told media persons while briefing on the meeting.

It was decided that officials of the two countries will be in touch, he said, while responding to a question on the issue in the context of India's request to Malaysia for Dr Zakir Naik's extradition.

Zakir Naik is wanted in India in a money laundering case filed against him by Directorate of Enforcement (ED). The current Malaysian government has so far not decided on sending him back to India.

The Mumbai-born 53-year-old medical practitoner and founder of 'Peace TV' has been living in Malaysia since 2017 and the previous government there had granted permanent residency to him.

He recently made some racial comments, after which Malaysia barred him from delivering public speeches. His activities are under constant monitoring of the Malaysian authorities, according to reports.

Naik is also facing an inquiry set up by the government of Mahathir Mohamad, who had initially said he could not accept calls to deport the preacher to India as he would be "killed" there.

Developments related to Jammu and Kashmir were also discussed and Modi explained the "rationale" behind the reorganisation of the state aimed at "effective governance and delivery of social justice", Gokhale said.

The two Prime Ministers also discussed the issue of trade imbalance in favour of Malaysia and Mohamad promised to address it, including by increasing imports from India.

Describing the meeting between the two Prime Ministers as very cordial, the Foreign Secretary said Modi told Mohamad that he looked forward to working with him for enhancing the bilateral ties.

The 94-year-old Malaysian leader was elected for the second time as Prime Minister in May.

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