New Delhi wants to ensure the safety and security of Indians
India has expressed concern over heightened acrimony in the Maldives by urging its warring parties to reconcile their differences peacefully and assuring that it would take care of the safety of Indians living there.
A Foreign Office statement saw the situation as uncertain and said the government was “closely” monitoring the situation, keeping in view the need to ensure the safety and security of Indians in Maldives “and Indian interests in the country.’’
Indian corporate interests, especially of the GMR group and the Tatas, have been targeted by some political parties and figures including spokesperson of the Maldivian President’s office who also questioned the integrity of Indian High Commissioner in Male Dnyaneshwar Mulay.
“There is a lot of excitement in the political space in the Maldives and not all of it is wholesome for us. But we could not have got excited,” said highly placed sources on the agitation against the GMR Group’s 25-year concession agreement to develop and manage the Male Airport.
“This incident was fortunately controlled and contained quickly. People constantly look for political issues to fight the next elections. No one should do anything that derails the process for the next elections,’’ said the sources.
Most parties in the government have been attacking some recent Indian corporate forays because they were sanctioned by the erstwhile government of Mohamed Nasheed, whose Maldives Democratic Party would be their main political rival in the upcoming elections.
In fact the Foreign Office statement was triggered by the arrest of some of Mr. Nasheed's close aides including Special Envoy Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair and party spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor.
The Ministry of External Affairs’ disapproval of the arrests was reflected in the statement: “India urges the government of Maldives and all political parties to adhere strictly to democratic principles and the rule of law thus paving the way for the holding of free, fair and credible elections. Violence and coercive measures are not conducive to this end.’’