Amidst continuing stand-off between the government and the former Maldivian
President Mohamed Nasheed, who remained holed up in the Indian Mission here for
the eighth day, a high-level team of the Indian foreign office arrived here
today to find a way out.
The team, which is headed by Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Joint Secretary in the MEA
and includes officials of legal background, met Foreign Minister Abdul Samad
Abdulla and discussed various aspects of the issue, official sources told PTI.
The main aim of the team is to "assist" the Indian High Commission to
resolve the situation, they said.
Meanwhile, the Maldivian Court, which had issued the arrest warrant against
Nasheed, cancelled today's hearing after the police informed it that they would
not be able to produce the former President at 4 PM.
The team arrived amid hectic diplomatic parleys being held by the Indian High
Commission with various political leaders across the spectrum.
Nasheed has been in the Indian Mission since February 13 to evade arrest after
he failed to appear in court on charges of detaining Chief Criminal Judge
Abdulla Mohamed while he was president, which his party considers politically
motivated and designed to disqualify him from politics.
Maldivian President Mohamed Waheed's Press Secretary Masood Imad told PTI that
following the expiry of the second arrest warrant, Nasheed is a free man and can
come out of the Indian Mission without fearing an arrest.
However, he also added that if Nasheed continues to stay away from the Court,
then it can give a ruling in absentia.
Meanwhile, the Male City Council wrote to the Indian High Commissioner D M Mulay
seeking assistance from India to work towards a route to secure Nasheed's
security and right to free and fair elections.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had yesterday said in New Delhi that
India would be the "happiest" if the situation is solved.
"There is unusual stress caused by local conditions. We just wish them the
best... I would certainly endorse any method and any means by which the present
situation can be resolved," he said.
The Minister added, "I think it is actually not a matter that gives any
sense of satisfaction and if it gets resolved, we will be the happiest".
Meanwhile, Nasheed party - MDP - demanded a caretaker government to conduct up
coming elections and end political tension in the islands.
The former Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said the Maldives should end political
instability to avoid being used as a base for Islamic extremists to destabilise
"We want elections under a caretaker who must take over two months before
the actual polling," Naseem, who is on a visit to Sri Lanka, told reporters
The Maldivian government has announced elections on September 7.
Naseem said a boycott by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), the largest
single party in the archipelago of 330,000 Sunni Muslims, will undermine the
legitimacy of any election.
"Three international shipping lanes go through our country and it is
important for regional peace to have a stable government in the Maldives,"
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.