With the political crisis in Maldives not heading towards a resolution soon, a senior minister of the Island nation has sought to chide India’s repeated calls for a peaceful resolution by likening the situation in Maldives to that of Kashmir. Senior Maldives minister Mohamed Shainee told The Indian Express that the political crisis in his country is an “internal” matter just like the “Kashmir issue”. He added that India should have faith in the local government to sort out the matter on its own. “Why haven’t we gone into the Kashmir issue… and asked to be an intermediary in the issue? Because they are internal matters.”
Urging India to trust Maldives, the minister said that Maldives may be a small country, but is “independent and patriotic”. When asked what role the Maldives government expected India to play, he said that “a third party” has begun the negotiation process to resolve the crisis. Refusing to identify the third party, the minister said it was neither India nor China.
While rejecting allegations by former president Mohamed Nasheed that the island country’s government was moving closer to China, delegation of which he was part, also said that Maldives would cause “a threat to India” and would continue to follow its ‘India First’ policy.
When asked on investments made by China in last five years and the Maldives government’s decision to allow two Chinese warships to dock in 2017, Shainee said that “India is a very strong country. We will never sound like a threat to India. We will never do that. If the question is being raised on two Chinese warships, we have similarly hosted US and Saudi warships, too.”
“We are eager to do business (with China) but portraying that China is the major investor in Maldives is against facts. India, Saudi Arabia, United States and many international funding agencies are actively part of the major infrastructure, tourism projects happening right now,” he added as per the paper.