‘Now is the time for India, our biggest neighbour and oldest friend, to bring the full array of international policy instruments to bear.’
Ahmed Naseem, the exiled former foreign minister of the Maldives, tells Rediff.com contributor Rajeev Sharma why it is important that India take the lead in addressing the unrest in his country.
Photograph: Niranjan Shrestha/Reuters
The Maldives is at a turning point and the direction it chooses to turn in will be of tremendous importance to India.
In the concluding part of his interview with Rediff.com, former Maldivian foreign minister Ahmed Naseem (pictured below) — a close aide of exiled former president Mohammed Nasheed — acknowledges India’s efforts in his country, but suggests that New Delhi needs to do more and in double quick time.
Your party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, has been bemoaning the lack of Indian proactivism in Maldives. But why should you blame the international community when it is your fight, your battle?
Ascertaining through being engaged and informed that a country keeps to international and bilateral treaty obligations is not tantamount to meddling in internal matters of that neighbour.
In fact, the present regime in power in the Maldives has been serially violating international treaty obligations as well as its own constitution and laws.
We look up to India for leadership in matters that involve the security of the region.
I also believe that a large and longtime friend like India would have proportionate institutionalised methods of engagement, which would be active even now.
I do not doubt India’s intelligence and monitoring capabilities, and hence I am confident that India is cognisant of the situation in the Maldives.
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