“Maldives Crisis Like Kashmir, Stay Away,” Minister Tells India
The Maldives said that the crisis in the country is “like Kashmir” and that India “shouldn’t interfere” in it.
The Maldives, on Tuesday, 13 March, asked India to not involve itself in the state of emergency in the Maldives, just like the island nation stays away from involvement in the conflict in the J&K valley.
Maldivian Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture Mohammad Shainee made the statement in the Maldivian capital, Male, adding that the political crisis in the country is “like Kashmir, an internal matter,” The Indian Express reported.
Why haven’t we gone into the Kashmir issue ... and asked to be (an) intermediary? Because they are internal matters ... India should stay away from our issue. We are independent and capable of dealing with the situation. If we need help, we will let India know.Mohammad Shainee, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives
Why Was India Concerned About Maldives?
The Maldives was gripped by a political crisis in February 2018, when the Supreme Court passed an order that reinstated 9 opposition MPs who were removed from the country’s Parliament, including exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed, in an order dated 1 February.
In response to the Supreme Court’s order, President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency in the country on 5 February. He then had two Supreme Court judges arrested, one being the country’s Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed.
Just days later, the country’s Supreme Court reversed its 1 February order.
India Should Intervene & Help: Former President Nasheed
After a request from exiled President Mohamed Nasheed, and mounting international pressure asking India to intervene like it had in the past, India’s MEA called on the Maldives to implement the Supreme Court’s order, and “restore the normal functions of the institutions of democracy.”
In response to President Yameen extending the state of emergency by 30 days on 22 February, India had said that it saw “no valid reason” for the extension of the Emergency.
The statement from the Maldivian Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, comes in response to India’s assertion that it was “watching the situation closely,” and that the Maldives should return to a state of normalcy.
Maldives: “India First” Always
Shainee also said that “a third party” had begun mediating negotiations to resolve the political crisis, when asked what role India is expected to play now. He added that the mediator was neither India nor China, in light of multiple allegations from exiled President Mohamed Nasheed that the Maldives had grown closer to China.
We are eager to do business (with China) but portraying that China is the major investor in the Maldives is against the facts. India, Saudi Arabia, United States and many other international funding agencies are an active part of major infrastructure and tourism projects happening in the country right now.Mohammad Shainee, Minister for Fisheries and Agriculture, Maldives
Shainee also dismissed questions about allowing two Chinese warships to dock in Maldivian waters in 2017, stating that the archipelago nation had also hosted warships of the US and the UAE in its waters, and that this shouldn’t be taken to mean anything more.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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