Controversial Preacher Reportedly Seeking Malaysian Citizenship

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It was revealed last month that Dr Zakir Naik was granted PR status in Malaysia five years ago, creating a stir among some parties. Apparently, he is now seeking citizenship here.

  • Wanted in India on terror and money laundering charges
  • Reportedly, granted Saudi Arabian citizenship recently
  • News breaking in India of powerful Congress leaders linked to the Gandhis shielded Zakir from enforcement authorities

The Times of India reported that India-born Muslim preacher Dr Zakir Naik is now reportedly seeking Malaysian citizenship after being granted permanent residency here. He was conferred honorary membership in Malay rights organisation Perkasa on Apr 16.

Zakir is wanted by India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on terror and money laundering charges. He fled India after an investigation was initiated against him.

Often changing his base, he is believed to frequent the UAE, Saudi Arabia and African and Southeast Asian countries. He is barred from entering Britain and Canada.

It was reported recently that Zakir has been granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia.

The 51-year-old medical doctor by training has been visiting Malaysia and Saudi Arabia frequently.

He is a key figure in a Mar 1 civil lawsuit filed by 19 Malaysian human rights activists against the federal government, which it accused of failing to protect the country from Zakir whom they claim to be a security threat.

Last month, the NIA approached Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice (RCN) against Zakir. An RCN declares a person as an international fugitive and can be provisionally arrested by the authorities of its member nations worldwide and then extradited.

The Indian government is planning to use its diplomatic channels to thwart all attempts by Zakir to get citizenship in any country. Like Malaysia, India does not recognise dual citizenships.

The controversial evangelist is accused of spreading enmity and hatred through his provocative speeches and lectures, inciting and funding terrorist activities and laundering several crores of rupees over the years.

In 2016, militants in Bangladesh claimed they were inspired by his speeches to carry out an attack on a cafe in Dhaka in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.

In the latest development, a debate is raging in India following revelations that senior ministers of the previous Congress-led government, including a close aide of the Gandhis, allegedly helped shield Zakir from enforcement authorities. claimed today it has access to a sworn confession of Zakir’s closest aide, Amir Gazdar, before a magistrate in which he allegedly divulged that Zakir sought and received help from senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh and two ministers, which the TV channel said it will disclose later today.

It also said Digvijay Singh was a close aide of Rahul Gandhi and one of the Gandhi family’s staunchest supporters.

In a story that is developing, the report hints of a potential storm brewing for India’s Congress party.