India and Pakistan have made a lot of progress in Afghanistan and Bharat has not played into the hands of Washington which wanted Delhi to partake in military operations in Kabul and beyond. The current trip of Mr. Karzai to Delhi clearly showed that Bharat is more interested in the East than in the quagmire called “Afghanistan”.
It seems that Islamabad and Delhi have come to a consensus on a post-2014 Afghanistan–and it seems to be positive. All this could be destroyed if a new government takes over.
Maldives is another matter. It seems Delhi is being pushed out of Male by the Maldivians themselves. Those who wanted to install a pro-Bharati president failed to do so and Nasheed was thrown out.
Today Male has a Pakistani and Chinese Embassy, and the Maldivians will not accept dictation from Delhi.
In a sign of deteriorating conditions, Presidential spokesman Adil Riza spoke the truth about the
Indian High Commissioner Dnyaneshwar Mulay. He said that Mulay is a “traitor” and “an enemy of Maldives.”
It is inconceivable that Mr. Riza could have spoken these strong words without the consent and agreement of his boss, President Waheed.
The bone of contention is the airport built by GMR of Bharat. The Maldivians want to reclaim the airport from GMR, alleging that it was an “illegal” agreement signed by Nasheed which did not have the consent of parliament.
In 2010, the Maldivian president Nasheed gave away the contract at atrocious price of $500 million to Indian infrastructure major GMR –to upgrade and manage Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) for a 25-year period.
President Waheed succeeded Nasheed in February 2012 through a controversial transfer of power.
Today the Adhaalath Party, a political party in the new ruling coalition has given a November 15 deadline to take back the airport from GMR. It has also threatened an agitation at the airport on Monday. At least two other coalition partners are also against allowing GMR to operate the airport. GMR received a 25-year concession agreement to develop and manage the Male Airport.
Abbas Adil Riza’s strong statement was meant to spark a diplomatic row with Delhi, which it did. He protested the leasing of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport to Indian infrastructure major GMR by the government of former president Mohamed Nasheed.
“A diplomat’s job is to work for his country and people and not to protect the interests of one private company…”He is a traitor and enemy of Maldives and Maldivian people“. We don’t want these kind of diplomats on our soil,” Riza had said.
President Waheed has termed the GMR airport project as a “bad contract” and said it was signed “conceivably under dubious conditions” by his predecessor Mohammed Nasheed.
He also reacted strongly to India’s concerns about developments in his country saying, “there is no reason to be concerned, since the country is fully functional and operational”.
“This agreement was signed during the previous government conceivably under dubious conditions. So it’s not an issue with GMR, it’s an issue of a bad contract,” he said.
Waheed also said that under the current agreement his Maldivian government has to pay $1.5 million to GMR each month which is “not affordable to the GoverKeywords: GMR Airport, The Maldives, Maldivian government, Ibrahim Nasir International Airportnment of Maldives”.
In an understatement of the years the Bharati external affairs spokesperson said: “The situation is being monitored closely keeping in view the need to ensure safety and security of Indians in Maldives and Indian interests in that country.”