Ex-NSA backs India's no interference stand on crisis-hit Maldives

Defending India's stand on Maldives crisis, former National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon on Saturday said that the current situation did not warrant the country’s intervention.

“I don’t see if it is in India’s interest to appoint a government in Maldives,” said Menon, who served as the country’s national security adviser from 2011 to 2014 under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Delivering a guest lecture at Pragyan, the annual techno-managerial festival of National Institute of Technology, Tiruchi, Menon, who had also served as the Foreign Secretary, said there was a view that India should have interfered in solving the crisis in the Maldives.

“This is not a case of mere intervention."

Former president of Maldives, Nasheed Mohamed, wants India to move in, throw out the present government and put him back in power.

That is a completely different scenario and not a case whether India is being stopped from intervening.

Though Nasheed had asked for India's intervention, Menon said the country had to study various aspects of the crisis.

According to Menon, the current situation was not the same when India sent its troops to Maldives to neutralise the People Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam (PLOTE) to prevent an attempt to stage a coup against then President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom in 1988. Sensing danger, Gayoom had sought the intervention of countries such as India and the United States of America.

“But, the current crisis is totally different. India can not take any decision in haste,” he added.

The island nation has been embroiled in fresh political turmoil after the Supreme Court on February 1 ordered the immediate release of jailed political leaders including self-exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed.

President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom on February 5 had declared a 15 day state of emergency after his last ditch attempt to convince the top court to revoke the order failed, purged the Supreme Court by arresting two judges and the remaining political leaders and ultimately had the order revoked.

After the original state of emergency expired, president Yameen had got the parliament contentiously extend it by another 30 days.

President Yameen is facing mounting international pressure after exploiting the rights suspended under emergency state to crackdown hard on the opposition as police have made a series of high profile arrests including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, three lawmakers, chief justice Abdulla Saeed, top court judge Ali Hameed and the chief judicial administrator.

Less than a day after the arrest of the two judges, the remaining three judges rescinded its ruling to release the political leaders referring to the concerns raised by president Yameen in the letters he had sent to the chief justice hours before state of emergency was declared.

The accusations against Gayoom included bribing lawmakers and judges to influence their authority while the deposed ruling party leader has also been accused of creating discord within the security forces to back the overthrow of his half-brother's government.

The two top court judges are accused of accepting bribes to influence Supreme Court rulings, abuse of power and blocking the functioning of the entire justice system.

In addition to Nasheed, the other top political leaders named in the now rescinded order included Jumhoory Party (JP) leader Gasim Ibrahim, religiously conservative Adhaalath Party (AP) leader Sheikh Imran Abdulla, former defence minister Mohamed Nazim, former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor and Gayoom's lawmaker son Faris Maumoon.

Former prosecutor general Muhthaz Muhsin, magistrate Ahmed Nihan and Adheeb's uncle Hamid Ismail make up the rest of the list.