PETALING JAYA: India's ruling BJP government had offered to drop money laundering charges against Dr Zakir Naik if he supported Prime Minister Narendra Modi's crackdown in Kashmir, a Pakistani-American Muslim academic has claimed after visiting the preacher yesterday.
Yasir Qadhi, who was invited to speak at a conference officiated by Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday, said BJP had sent an envoy to meet Naik with the offer.
"This shows that there is no real case against him and it's all politically motivated. Alhamdullilah, and obviously, he refused the blatant attempt to bribe him – no true scholar will ever sell his din (religion) for the dunya (worldliness)," Qadhi wrote on his Facebook after meeting Naik yesterday.
He said apart from withdrawing criminal charges filed in India, Naik was also offered reinstatement of his assets and allowed to return to the country.
FMT has not been able to independently verify the claims, and is contacting the Indian authorities for a response.
Naik is wanted in India to face money laundering charges.
India's Enforcement Directorate has accused him of acquiring about Rs1.9 billion (RM114.5 million) worth of criminal assets. It is also seeking to have him declared a fugitive economic offender.
Naik, who has permanent resident status in Malaysia, has denied the charges, saying they were part of the BJP government's attempt to silence him.
He had said he was prepared to return to fight the charges in court in India on condition he would not be arrested until he is found guilty.
The Malaysian government has so far resisted India's request to extradite Naik, with Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad saying the preacher would not get a fair trial under the Modi administration.
Mahathir has been critical of the Modi government's crackdown in Kashmir, as well as a new citizenship law which sparked protests over its discrimination against Muslims.
At the UN General Assembly last year, Mahathir accused India of invading Kashmir and breaking a UN resolution, sparking calls from Indian business groups to boycott Malaysian palm oil.
This came after Modi abolished 70 years of autonomy for Kashmir and placed its citizens under restrictions including an internet blackout.
Since the 1947 partition of India which gave birth to Pakistan, the two countries have been locked in numerous armed skirmishes over Kashmir, a mountainous region in the north with a Muslim-majority population.