India seeks Zakir Naik’s extradition from Qatar


India on Thursday stated that it has raised with Qatar fugitive Zakir Naik‘s extradition after Naik, now a Malaysian national, being invited to Qatar, where he is scheduled to deliver religious lectures throughout the ongoing FIFA World Cup.

Arindam Bagchi, the MEA Spokesperson, said, “Zakir Naik is an accused in India, under Indian law. We have already raised the issue of his extradition with Malaysia. We have also raised it with Qatar.”

The MEA Spokesperson further said that the Indian government will continue with its efforts to make Naik face legal procedures in India.

Earlier ET had reported that India had noted Naik’s visit to Qatar close on the heels of Vice President’s trip to Doha for the world cup inaugural. Qatar had told India that no official invitation was extended to Naik to attend the November 20 opening of the FIFA World Cup in Doha. There are reports that a conservative section of the Qatari establishment may be behind Naik’s invitation.
Naik fled to Malaysia in 2016, just before the National Investigation Agency started a probe against him.

On Tuesday, reacting to the controversial Islamic preacher’s presence at the FIFA World Cup, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, had said that India will raise this issue and decisive action will be taken as well. “I’m sure India took it up and will take it up. But the point is he’s a Malaysian national. You invite him somewhere, whether they knew I’ve no knowledge of that.”

Naik faces charges of money laundering and delivering hate speeches in India.

In March, this year, the Home Ministry had declared the Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association and banned it for five years.

Besides India, his Peace TV network is also banned in Bangladesh, Canada, Sri Lanka and the UK. Naik is accused of influencing through his speeches perpetrators of the 2016 Dhaka bombing that killed 20, including 17 foreigners, and the much more devastating Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 in 2019. Some who joined the ISIS and were later apprehended confessed that the turning point was their meeting with Naik.


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