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Anmol asked: What could be the effect of the current political turmoil in Maldives on India?

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  • Anand Kumar replies: Maldives is strategically located in the Indian Ocean. It is just about 700 km away from the southern coast of India. Hence, any political crisis in Maldives is going to have an impact on India. Presently, President Abdualla Yameen of Progressive Party of Maldives is in power. He is half brother of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who was the longest serving dictator of Asia. The present rule of Yameen is being contested by former president Mohamed Nasheed who is currently in jail. Nasheed alleges that Yameen has come to power through unlawful means. Moreover, after the split in the coalition, Qasim Ibrahim of the Jamhoori Party has joined hands with former president Nasheed. As a result, Nasheed now also claims that the Yameen Government no longer enjoys the majority. Maldives is thus likely to remain in the grip of an ongoing political crisis.

    Maldives has also been of interest to many external players especially China which has been trying to entrench itself in the island nation and presently seems to be succeeding in its effort. Along with China, Pakistan is also trying to woo Maldives. Sometime back Yameen had visited both Pakistan and China. The political uncertainty in Maldives could also provide a fertile ground for Islamist extremists active in several South Asian countries. Clearly, a political crisis in Maldives is not in India’s interest.

    Posted on June 19, 2015