Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed has raised concerns over recent disparaging comments against India made by various officials within the Maldivian government. The controversy was sparked by a video shared by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi showcasing Lakshadweep’s beaches, leading pro-Indian government accounts to claim it could divert tourism from the Maldives.
Nasheed, who temporarily stepped back from active politics in December, has called on President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s administration to distance itself from the anti-India comments and provide a clear assurance that these views do not represent the government’s official stance. Nasheed emphasized the pivotal role India plays as a key ally, contributing significantly to the Maldives’ security and prosperity.
Specifically, Nasheed criticized Mariyam Shiuna, the deputy minister for youth, for her use of “appalling language” against the leader of a crucial ally. The article notes a connection between the current situation and the ‘India Out’ campaign initiated by the ruling party when it was in opposition, demanding the removal of Indian military personnel from the Maldives.
President Muizzu had based his election campaign on this promise and sought India’s withdrawal of soldiers after assuming office in November. With India being a major source market for Maldivian tourism, with 209,198 Indian tourists visiting the country last year, Nasheed’s call for clarification underscores the importance of maintaining strong diplomatic ties between the two nations.