Male, Mar 14: In a clear snub to India’s efforts to get the Abdulla Yameen government to lift emergency and restore democratic functioning, Maldives on Tuesday asked New Delhi to stay away from its “internal matter” just as the island nation will not preach on the Kashmir issue.
The political crisis in the Maldives, like the “Kashmir issue”, is an “internal” matter and India should trust the local government to solve the problem on its own, a senior minister of the island nation said Tuesday.
“Why haven’t we gone into the Kashmir issue… and asked to be an intermediary in the issue? Because they are internal matters,” said Mohamed Shainee, a senior minister and chairman of all-party talks to resolve the impasse.
Shainee said that India should trust the Maldives, which “may be a small country”, but is “independent and patriotic”.
Asked about the role the Maldives government expected India to play at this juncture, Shainee said that “a third party” has started negotiations to resolve the crisis. He refused to reveal the identity of the third party, but said it was neither India nor China.
Pertinently, the political crisis in the Maldives reached a flashpoint on February 5, when President Yameen declared a 15-day state of Emergency, which was extended by 30 days on February 20. Emergency was imposed after the Maldives Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of high-profile prisoners, including former presidents Nasheed and Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. It also reinstated 12 Members of Parliament who had earlier been stripped of their seats. (KNB)