Yashwant Sinha says Maldives political crisis poses threat to India's security, urges govt to act immediately

Underlining that the political crisis in Maldives poses a threat to India's security, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday urged the government to act immediately.

PTI February 11, 2018 18:54:52 IST
Yashwant Sinha says Maldives political crisis poses threat to India's security, urges govt to act immediately

New Delhi: Underlining that the political crisis in Maldives poses a threat to India's security, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday urged the government to act immediately and said it should not remain a "mute spectator" with China strengthening its presence in the island nation.

Speaking to reporters at his residence in Uttar Pradesh's Noida, Sinha said the Indian government has diplomatic options, non-diplomatic options and it must exercise those in order to ensure India's security is not threatened amid the crisis in Maldives.

Yashwant Sinha says Maldives political crisis poses threat to Indias security urges govt to act immediately

File image of senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha. AFP

Sinha, expressing his views on behalf of the Rashtra Manch – a new political platform he launched last month, said that the impression till now has been that "things have been allowed to drift".

He urged the government to act as it was the "best judge" of the situation and that every hour now was "precious".

"What's happening in Maldives is a threat to India's national security. Highest numbers of people (on per capita basis) from Maldives have joined the Islamic State. These people will return to our nearest neighbour (Maldives) when Islamic State is wiped out, posing threat to us," the former external affairs minister argued.

To a question whether India should consider sending troops to the island country, Sinha said that is one of the options. But, he added, that the government should select its option carefully.

The main concern is that time is not lost while India acts, Sinha said.

"We need not ask any nation before we act. Like in Bangladesh's case we have seen, if we act, world respects you. But if you don't, they will take you as weak and you keep taking advice," he said.

Sinha said that there were reports that China has already "taken over" 17-18 islands which were part of Maldives and asserted that it was a "matter of most serious concern".

"That Chinese should come and right under our nose, in our backyard, play these games, India should not remain a mute spectator," he said.

Sinha also said that both the present NDA and the previous UPA governments did not act "decisively" when it came to Maldives, which he claimed had become "hostile" to India. He cited the example of how an Indian company operating at Male airport was "thrown out".

"We didn't intervene then too (during UPA regime). So the Maldives government is since feeling that India is finding itself as weak and not acting tough. Hence, it (Maldives) feels it can do what it wants," Sinha said.

The island nation, which has seen several political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos recently when the Supreme Court there ordered the release of nine imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed".

India had earlier described as a matter of "concern" the arrests of the chief justice and political figures there. However, earlier this week, the Supreme Court had revoked its order on the release of the opposition politicians.

Updated Date:

also read

Bangladesh vs Australia: Nasum Ahmed shines as Tigers register first win over visitors in T20Is
First Cricket News

Bangladesh vs Australia: Nasum Ahmed shines as Tigers register first win over visitors in T20Is

Nasum, a left-arm spinner, returned career-best figures of 4-19 to help dimiss the visitors for 108 as Bangladesh took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.

Australia to tour Bangladesh for five T20s in August
First Cricket News

Australia to tour Bangladesh for five T20s in August

The visitors will land on 29 July ahead of the matches on 3, 4, 6, 7 and 9 August at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka, likely to be held behind closed doors.

Bangladesh vs Australia: Tigers recover from collapse to win by five wickets, go 2-0 up in T20I series
First Cricket News

Bangladesh vs Australia: Tigers recover from collapse to win by five wickets, go 2-0 up in T20I series

A 56-run partnership by Afif Hossain and Nurul Hasan for an undefeated sixth-wicket stand proved to be key as Australia was in a favourable position to level the series despite being restricted to 121-7.