February 26, 2021
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Incompetent handling
India-Maldives relations under Gayoom’s leadership Though  the newly elected President Abdulla Yameen Gayoom has assured Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of giving priority to relations with India, especially because of geographical proximity as suggested by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh  in  his congratulatory note, there are fears that Maldives will return to hardline Islam- both in political and social domain. This might not allow the recovery of lost ground in India-Maldives relations which deteriorated after the coup in February 2012 when the then President Muhammad Nasheed was dethroned. If the hardliner elements prevail in the next administration of Yameen, who has won elections on the Islam plank, smooth progress in relations would be difficult as the fundamentalist elements will be cajoled by the anti- India forces guided by the Pakistani intelligence agencies. China card For India’s neighbors it is very easy to manipulate relations with India playing China card and undoubtedly Maldivian leaders have also learnt this art. China was the second country after India which has been allowed to open its embassy in Male. The Maldivian Presidents are often hosted by the top leaders of China.   China certainly has entered as a big elephant in the room and it will be difficult to ward off the Chinese influence in Male without a friendly regime in Male. India has welcomed the new government of Maldives with President
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