India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) today said that the government has raised the issue of Indian fugitive Zakir Naik with Qatar. The ministry's comment follows reports of Naik, now a Malaysian national, being invited to Qatar, where he is scheduled to deliver religious lectures during the ongoing FIFA World Cup.
According to the MEA, Qatar did convey to India that "no such invitation was extended to Zakir Naik".
In a statement issued today, Arindam Bagchi, the MEA Spokesperson, said: "He [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 the issue with Qatar."
The MEA Spokesperson further said that the Indian government will continue with its efforts to make Naik face legal procedures in India.
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, the Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, had said that India will raise this issue and decisive action will be taken as well.
Naik faces charges of money laundering and delivering hate speeches in India.
In March, this year, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had declared the Naik-founded Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association and banned it for five years.