The Maldivian government asked India to withdraw its military helicopter and personnel following the expiry of an agreement in June this year, said its envoy said on Friday, August 10. Both the countries have been at loggerheads after India opposed Yameen’s crackdown on political rivals and after he imposed an emergency in the Maldives. The estrangement between the 2 has affected aid programmes such as security assistance which has been provided by New Delhi to help the Island chain to protect its exclusive economic zones.
The island paradise faced political turmoil after President Yameen Abdul Gayoom of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) declared an emergency in the country, following which Supreme Court’s 2 sitting judges were taken into custody and 2 members of the opposition were also arrested.
According to news agency Reuters, the Maldives’ ambassador in India, Ahmed Mohamed, said that the 2 military helicopters provided by India were primarily used for medical evacuations but were of no use as the islands had created enough resources of its own.
Besides helicopters, India had placed nearly 50 military personnel. But New Delhi has not yet withdrawn them from the island.
Meanwhile, India has been demanding from Yameen government to his free political rivals including ex-President Abdul Gayoom and Supreme Court judges.
It also lambasted Yameen’s decision to hold elections in September claiming that the rule of law should be revamped before starting such an exercise.
Besides that, India’s rival, China has recently built ties with the Maldives, as part of its economic infrastructure project Belt and Road Initiative.
It reportedly said that it is opposed to any country intervening in the domestic matters of the Maldives, Which will further hinder ties between India and the Island chain.