President Yameen Allows Maldives as a Platform to Criticise India

26 July 2017, Male’: The Maldivian Democratic Party strongly condemns President Yameen’s deafening silence while Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif criticised India during a joint press conference in the Maldives yesterday.

Speaking at the press conference, held at the President’s Office in Male’, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, standing alongside President Yameen, accused India of harming SAARC, and claimed both Maldives and Pakistan share similar views on SAARC. President Yameen said nothing.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on a state visit to the Maldives to mark the Maldives’ 52nd Independence Day.

The MDP is extremely concerned about President Yameen’s refusal to clarify the Maldives’ position on SAARC. By failing to correct the Prime Minister at the press conference, which was held on the first day of the PM’s visit, President Yameen effectively sided with the Pakistani version of events.

The SAARC summit in Islamabad had to be postponed because of continued instability in the region. Terror attacks in India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, as well as in Pakistan, made the timing and location unconducive to a high-level meeting.

As the Maldives celebrates its 52nd Independence Day, the country is more ostracised than ever before. President Yameen’s foreign policy — which is largely driven by the President’s pursuit of personal wealth — has damaged the country’s long-standing ties with international partners, and led to the Maldives’ isolation in the international community. The MDP notes that it was India who came to the Maldives’ assistance and protected its sovereignty during the 3 November 1988 attempted coup.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit comes at a time when President Yameen is mired in corruption scandals involving himself and the First Lady, and the country faces unprecedented political instability. On Monday, severely threatened by the collapse of his support in parliament, President Yameen sent in the military to occupy parliament and prevent MPs from conducting their Constitutional duties.