'Maldives cannot be with OIC on Kashmir issue' - Nasheed

Speaker of the Parliament and former President of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed has stated that the Maldives cannot side with the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in their decisions taken against India for imposing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian government made the decision to repeal Article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which gave special status to Kashmir, allowing it to have a separate constitution, a state flag and autonomy over the internal administration of the state.

The decision met with outrage, with many countries accusing the Indian government of attempting to reduce the Muslim population in Kashmir, and increasing Hindu influence in the region. When protests broke out with the decision to repeal the law, 10,000 troops were sent to Kashmir from India with full authoritative power.

On the sidelines of the 57th UN General Assembly, OIC criticized India for continuing restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, and called to withdraw the restrictions.

In response to an inquiry from a journalist during his visit to India to participate in the World Financial Forum, Nasheed said the Maldives cannot align itself with the critical statements issued by OIC over the Indian government's actions in Kashmir. Describing the issue as an internal matter for India, Nasheed reiterated the Maldives government's stand on the matter.

"The Maldives cannot be with the OIC on this issue. None or very few OIC countries are democracies and we don’t think they should be commenting on human rights in India, which is a democracy", said Nasheed.

Nashed added that he does not believe the Maldives, or any other county can criticize India over the Kashmir move.

"India is the biggest functioning democracy, and it has the rule of law. There is nothing for us to comment on, as it has happened through Indian government processes; it is an internal matter for India. Our President has issued a statement saying that", said Nasheed.

A report recently published by the United Nations stated that Indian troops based in Kashmir continue to violate the human rights of Muslims in Kashmir.