Former Maldivian President Nasheed criticizes Indian High Commission's role during coup

   Apr 18, 8:29 pm

New Delhi, April 18: Expressing unhappiness over the role of the Indian High Commission officials in Maldives, former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed on Wednesday said he was shocked to see how quickly the Indian government recognized the new government.

"I can't understand why the Indian High Commissioner did not see the events as unfolding. Neither can I understand his briefs and utterances. It was the first televised coup in Maldives. Live coup. How couldn't they see it," said Nasheed while delivering a talk on "Consolidating democracy in Maldives" at Observer Research Foundation, a public policy think tank, here today.

The former president said he was "shocked to see how quickly the Indian government recognised" the new Government.

Nasheed, who was ousted in a coup in February this year, said India should use its influence over the present government and in the international community to press for elections as early as possible.

"We sincerely hope the Government of India pressurizes the military and police backed Maldivian Government to hold early elections so that Muslim radicals do not consolidate their positions," added Nasheed.

Showing confidence in emerging victorious in the upcoming elections, Nasheed said his party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, would come back to power in the next elections. "We will never give up," he added.

He expressed his apprehensions over the scheduled elections of 2013, saying the military and police, which were not used to taking orders from a civilian head, are planning to sabotage it.

Nasheed also said the Islamic radicals, who had lost all elections in during his presidency, has now got "three portfolios in the new government, backed by the military, police and the cronies of former dictator (Abdul) Gayoom. They are calling the shots and changing policies to cater to them".

He said if the Islamic radicals were able to consolidate, then Maldives will become a fundamentalists cell which will become a big threat to the booming sea trade in the Indian Ocean.

"We can't let radical Islam take more hold in Maldives," he said.

Nasheed is in India on a six-day visit and is expected to meet Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Monday as part of his efforts to prove he is the rightful leader of the archipelago nation. (ANI)

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