Why getting televangelist Zakir Naik back will be an uphill task for India

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Pressing Malaysia to send back televangelist Zakir Naik without a prima facie water-tight case about his alleged crimes risks endangering what has become a robust counter-terrorism relationship between Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi.At the last count, six terrorists who made up Khalistani modules in South East Asia, mainly operating out of Malaysia and Thailand, had been handed over to Punjab thanks to such cooperation between Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi. The cooperation began in October 2010 after Manmohan Singh’s prime ministerial visit to Malaysia when the two countries upgraded bilateral relations to a Strategic Partnership.In all these six cases, Malaysia’s Special Task Force for Counter-Terrorism Operations followed up on information shared by India. They did not order anyone’s summary deportation based merely on an Indian submission. Investigative agencies in Kuala Lumpur were convinced during their independent probes of Indian clues that several terrorists of Indian origin living in Malaysia or shuttling between their country and Thailand were, indeed, engaged in subversive activities on Malaysian soil.

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