Friday, April 15, 2016

More on India's Tightrope Act in Maldives

For India this is no less than a wake-up call to shed its bossy attitude and to look at how it can bring these countries back to its fold by appealing to their self-interest.

 Both Nepal and Maldives realize that it is not prudent to put all their eggs in the China basket and cultivating India can be hugely advantageous in harnessing economic and military dividends. It is now a test of India's diplomatic skills how it can bring these neighbours around without seeming to be bending over backwards.

 Even though much that the two sides say may now sound normal, it is no secret that Abdullah Yameen was upset over how India reacted to the revival by Maldives of the Judge Abdulla abduction case and the consequent arrest and sentencing of former Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed who has been a close friend of India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cancellation of the Maldives visit in March 2016 obviously did not go down well with Yameen. He looked upon it as an affront.

 On India's part, Yameen's forging of closer ties with China, as reflected by two visits to Beijing within three months and the first-ever presidential visit by Xi Jinping, sent out warning signals that reverberated in the corridors of power in New Delhi.
The signing of the revived 'Maritime Silk Route' (MSR) by Maldives and an open invitation to high-volume Chinese investments in development projects, irked India a great deal.

No comments: