Sure India will convey its views in strongest terms: Hardeep Puri on Zakir Naik's World Cup 'invite'
Chandigarh, Nov 22 (PTI) Amid reports of Qatar inviting controversial Islamic preacher and Indian fugitive Zakir Naik to the FIFA World Cup, Union Minister Hardeep Puri on Tuesday said he was sure that India would convey its views on the matter in the "strongest possible terms" to the concerned authorities.
At the same time, the minister for Housing and Urban Affairs said he has no knowledge of the invitation being extended to Naik.
Puri was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here.
Naik, a televangelist, reportedly left India in 2016 and moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
India had sent a request to Malaysia for his extradition.
Asked about Qatar reportedly inviting Naik to the FIFA World Cup, Puri said, "I have no knowledge of that".
When asked if India will lodge a protest, he replied, "I am sure India took it up and will take it up. But the point is he is a Malaysian national and if he is invited somewhere... whether they knew, I have no knowledge of that. I have as much access to information as you have." "You can ask me my views on Zakir Naik. My views and your views are the same on that," he added.
Replying to a related question, the minister said, "We (India) have our views on him and I am sure they will be conveyed in the strongest possible terms to the concerned authorities." Naik is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech against other religions. He is among the 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia. PTI SUN VSD DIV DIV