Qatar on Zakir Naik: Qatar has given clarification on the news of controversial Islamic preacher and fugitive Indian Zakir Naik being invited for the Football World Cup. Qatar informed India through diplomatic channels that no official invitation was extended to Zakir Naik to attend the opening of the FIFA World Cup in Doha on November 20, 2022. Also claimed that other countries deliberately spread this misinformation so that India-Qatar bilateral relations could be spoiled.
This response from Qatar has come after India expressed its objection. The Modi government had categorically told Qatar that India would be forced to cancel Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar’s visit if Zakir Naik was formally invited to watch football from the VVIP box at the grand opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup. Will have to
Vice President Dhankhar had gone to Qatar
Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar went on a visit to Qatar. Vice President Dhankhar attended the event on 20 November and left Qatar the next day. He had also met the Indian expatriates in Qatar who had built football stadiums in Qatar. Qatari officials said that Zakir Naik could be on a private visit to Doha. The Qatari government told the Indian interlocutors that the entire Zakir Naik controversy was a fabrication by other countries and was part of a larger propaganda campaign against Qatar.
Naik had fled to Malaysia
Naik reportedly left India in 2016 for Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. India has requested his extradition from Malaysia. Zakir Naik is wanted since 2016 for money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches.
In March 2022, the Union Home Ministry declared Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) an unlawful association under the UAPA and banned it for five years. India has started the process of issuing Red Corner Notice against Naik through Interpol. Nike has been banned in the UK and Canada.
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