On Friday, Maldives’ Parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed said that India has always been a safe haven for persecuted minorities and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was an internal matter of India.
According to the reports, Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed cited his own example of Indian high commission giving him refuge at a time when he was about to be arrested by then Maldives’ former president Abdulla Yameen.
“Religious persecution is wrong and India will always give refuge to those persecuted. When President Yameen wanted to arrest me and when I went to Indian High Commission they gave me refuge. They were quite willing to bring me to India too. Secularity of India, respecting minorities are founding ideas of India,” he said.
Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives also reiterated that the amended Citizenship Act (CAB) is an internal matter of India.
“I have complete trust in Indian democracy and whatever comes out from the process would be what the majority of people from India want. It is India’s internal matter. India is one of the safe havens for persecuted minority communities,” he said.
The Citizenship Amendment act seeks to give Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from three neighbouring Islamic countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.
Speaking on the issue controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, Nasheed said that he recently tried to cross over to the Maldives from Malaysia but the island nation did not allow it
“He (Zakir Naik) was trying to come to the Maldives but we did not allow him to come,” former president of Maldives Nasheed, who is leading a parliamentary delegation to India, said.
#WATCH Speaker of Maldives Parliament M Nasheed on Zakir Naik:We allowed him in 2009 as there were no issues with him then, that we knew of.Recently,govt refused entry to him.We’ve no issue with people who preach good Islam but if you want to preach hate, we can’t allow that. pic.twitter.com/qote3qzfoF
— ANI (@ANI) December 14, 2019
Responding to issues regarding the discussion between Malaysia and Maldives on the extradition of Zakir Naik back, Nasheed said, “He was not allowed to come to the Maldives recently so there would have been discussions between Malaysia and Maldives”.
Islamist Zakir Naik, a Mumbai-born 53-year-old who is the founder of the controversial ‘Peace TV’ has been living in Malaysia since 2017 after fleeing from India and the previous government there had granted permanent residency to him. India is seeking extradition of the radical Islamic scholar.
Zakir Naik is a fugitive in India, is wanted in India for serious charges related to terrorism after his name cropped in connection with a ghastly terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka on July 2016.