Former Home Minister, politician Umar Naseer has vowed to organize a mass demonstration against Indian military officers stationed in the Maldives.
In a Facebook post this Monday refuting a statement by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid that the helicopters donated by the Indian government to the Maldivian military are controlled by the MNDF as a ‘blatant lie’, Umar Naseer vowed the next mass demonstration in the Maldives will be against the Indian military officers stationed in the country.
Umar Naseer wrote that he questioned three officials who served as Minister of Defense after the donation of the two helicopters.
“And they also say the helicopters are flown at orders from Delhi, India, and not the MNDF,” wrote Umar Naseer.
He wrote that if India’s intentions had been pure, there was no reason why they shouldn’t have trained MNDF officers to operate the helicopters as per the original agreement between the two governments.
“The Indian military officers need to leave the Maldives,” wrote Umar Naseer. “The next mass demonstration in the Maldives will be against the presence of Indian military officers in the Maldives.”
He wrote that it was a mistake to assume matters of national security can be suppressed by handing out gifts of ‘supari’ to political leaders.
In statements during a TV interview in 2018, Minister of Defense Mariya Ahmed Didi dismissed the controversy surrounding the two helicopters and presence of Indian military officers in the Maldives as ‘political hype’.
The two helicopters – Air MEDEVAC and SAR – are used as air ambulances by the MNDF.
An unconfirmed number of Indian military officers – which some reports place between 50 – 60 – are stationed in the Maldives to operate the helicopters despite the original agreement, in 2010, to train MNDF officers to operate the helicopters within 2 years.
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Source URL: Sun.mv