Diplomacy Politics

Any military option by India in Maldives would have had long-term implications

Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom | AP Photo

NEW DELHI: India did not consider any military intervention in the Maldives during political turmoil there as any such move would have had “long-term implications” and contrary to the Indian stand for a rules-based international order, sources said today.

Following the imposition of Emergency in the Maldives on February 5 by the Abdulla Yameen Gayoom government, there were calls from Maldivian opposition leaders for India’s military intervention in that country.

Sources said here that exercising such an option would have been contradictory to India’s persistent call for respecting rules-based international order.

Over the last few years, India has been pitching for a rules-based order, particularly with respect to China’s aggressive military posturing in the disputed South China Sea.

There would have been long-term consequences if India had intervened militarily in the Maldives, sources said.

“We have been talking about the need for following a rules-based international order and if India itself does not follow it, then how the international community would have looked at us,” said a source.

Sources said though India had not taken any action against the Maldives bilaterally following the imposition of the Emergency, it was among the nations which expressed concerns about the developments there.

Sources admitted that India-Maldives ties were not in “best of health”, but added that New Delhi has an interest in political stability in that country.

Ties between India and Maldives nosedived after Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen declared Emergency on February 5 following an order by the country’s Supreme Court to release a group of opposition leaders, who had been convicted in widely criticised trials.

The emergency was lifted 45 days later.

Asked about opposition in Seychelles against a pact that country had signed with India to build a military base there, sources said it was the island nation which wanted the project to move ahead.

The military base on Assumption Island was to be set up by India.

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