Truce reached, Nasheed leaves Indian mission

Truce reached, Nasheed leaves Indian mission

New Delhi brokers informal understanding

Truce reached, Nasheed leaves Indian mission

Former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday left the High Commission of India in Male, after New Delhi brokered an “informal understanding” between him and the island nation’s government in order to end the 10-day-long diplomatic standoff.

Though the details of the understanding were not revealed, New Delhi hoped that Nasheed would now “resume his social and political life”, hinting that incumbent President Waheed Hassan’s government had agreed not to actively pursue the case against the former and allow him to contest the presidential polls scheduled for September 7 next.

Nasheed, who stepped down a year ago, walked into the Indian High Commission in Male on February 13 just after a court in the island nation issued an arrest warrant against him in connection with a case related to his alleged role in the detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed during his tenure as president.

Soon after coming out of the High Commission of India in Male at 4:15 pm on Saturday, Nasheed called upon workers and supporters of his Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) to start campaigning to ensure his victory in the coming polls.

He also hoped that the Maldivian government would honour the agreements reached during the discussions over the past few days.

In a statement issued in New Delhi, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Syed Akbaruddin said that Nasheed had walked into the High Commission of India in Male “on his own volition and had similarly decided to leave on his own”.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said courtesies extended to Nasheed since he walked into the high commission were commensurate with the courtesies that New Delhi extended to a former head of government or state.

Sources in New Delhi told Deccan Herald that the Maldivian government had informally agreed not to actively pursue the case against Nasheed.

The Male-based Haveeru Online website, however, quoted the island nation’s Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizzu as stating that the charges against Nasheed had not been dropped and the government was not even considering doing so.

Nasheed’s party MDP has been demanding that the government should request the court to defer the trial in connection with the case against him till the presidential polls are over in September.

Though the February 13 arrest warrant against Nasheed expired the same day, the Hulhumale Magistrate Court later issued a fresh directive to police to produce him before it on February 20. New Delhi, however, ignored Male’s plea to allow its cops to arrest the former president and instead sent Harsh Shringla, joint secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, to the island nation’s capital for talks.

Akbaruddin on Saturday said that Shringla and High Commissioner of India in Male, D M Mulay, had “a series of meetings with the officials of the Government of the Maldives and other stake holders” over the past few days. “India has been working closely with the government and other relevant stakeholders in the Maldives to strengthen the democratic framework of the country,” he said. 

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