Mohamed Nasheed, former Maldives prime minister and current speaker of Parliament, during his visit to New Delhi said the island nation blocked the Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's bid to cross over from Malaysia

New Delhi: The controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik tried to cross over into the Maldives but his attempt was thwarted, said former Maldives prime minister Mohamed Nasheed during his visit to New Delhi on Friday.

Nasheed, who is currently the Speaker of Maldivian Parliament, said "he (Naik) was trying to come to the Maldives but we did not allow him to come".

The former Maldivian PM led a Parliamentary delegation to New Delhi for the 6th joint commission meeting with India. The two sides signed several MoUs and agreements.

When asked if there had been discussions between Maldives and Malaysia on Naik's extradition, Nasheed said, "He was not allowed to come to the Maldives recently so there would have been discussions (between Malaysia and Maldives)".

India has urged Malaysia for the extradition of the 53-year-old Islamic preacher who fled India in 2016 and took refuge in Malaysia. He was booked by the Enforcement Directorate in 2016 based on an FIR by the National Investigative Agency under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

ED alleges that Naik received funds worth crores from unidentified “well wishers” over the years for his speeches which spread “hatred and incite Muslim youths" to take up terrorism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also met the Foreign Minister of Maldives Abdulla Shahid on Friday.

PM conveyed his compliments to Maldives FM Abdulla Shahid on the achievement of the Maldives government in its first year. He noted with satisfaction the enhanced level of engagement between India and Maldives and the positive outcomes of bilateral cooperation during the last one year.

“Delighted to meet you, Minister Abdulla Shahid. Glad that we had the opportunity to discuss various aspects of the strong friendship between our nations. Robust bilateral cooperation augurs well for the people of our nations."

PM Modi also expressed his confidence that the discussions during the 6th Joint Commission Meeting would enable both sides to review progress and chart even a more ambitious way forward to further strengthen and deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

Prime Minister Modi reiterated India’s commitment to partner the Government of the Maldives for a strong, democratic, prosperous and peaceful Maldives.