Trichy: “I don’t see if it is in India’s interest to appoint a government in Maldives,” said former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon here on Saturday. He was replying to a query as to whether India should intervene in the ongoing political crisis in Maldives, at the ongoing annual techno-managerial fest, Pragyan 2018, organised by National Institute of Technology – Trichy (NIT-T)..
Menon, who served as the country’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2014 under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, made this statement while delivering a guest lecture at the institute. “This is not a case of mere intervention. Former president of Maldives, Nasheed Mohamed, wants India to move in, throw out the present government and put him back in power. That is a completely different scenario and not a case whether India is being stopped from intervening. I don’t see it’s in nation’s interest to start appointing governments in Maldives,” said Menon in reply to an NIT student’s question at the Q & A session.
The crisis in Maldives deepened last month when its current president, Abdulla Yameen, declared a state of emergency and ordered the arrest of the country’s chief justice, Abdulla Saeed, justice Ali Hameed Mohamed and former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom. Following this, former president Nasheed had sought India’s help to end the crisis in the country.
Menon also spoke in depth to the students about the world of bureaucracy, foreign relations and national security. On a question about India’s relationship with Israel, he said that the two countries always had a solid understanding. “But the question is how long will Israel be as relevant as it is to India’s transformation and economy. So far, the Israelis have managed to stay ahead of the game steadily and they’re quite remarkable with what they have done,” he said pointing out Israel’s achievements in behavioural economics and mathematics. He also stated that the relationship will stay the same in the future too.
When asked whether India was on its way to become a super power in about three decades, Menon stated, “I don’t believe in the term ‘super power’, but I believe India can become a great power. The term super power itself doesn’t have a solid definition and it means not more than just an ego trip,” he said.
Meanwhile, for a better internal security, Menon suggested that significant reformation should be made. “More external security organisations have reformed tremendously since Independence, but that’s not the case with police department or home ministry where we’re mostly just using the same old systems,” he said.
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