Maldives- A victim of Indian conspiracies

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Hammad Asghar Shad
The Maldives is a small island in South Asia in the Arabian Sea. Located in the southwest of Sri Lanka and India, it is one thousand kilometres (620 miles) from the continent of Asia. The Maldives covers an area of about 298 square kilometres (115 square miles). It is also the smallest Asian country in terms of land area and population. According to the 2020 census, its population is 557,426. Malay is the capital and most populous city. It is traditionally called “Kings Island” where ancient royal families ruled for a long time.It averages 1.5 meters (4 feet 11 inches) above sea level, making it the lowest country in the world. In the 12th century, Islam reached the island of the Maldives, which was consolidated as an empire, leading to secure trade and cultural ties with Asia and Africa. In the mid-16th century, the region came under increasing European influence, with the Maldives being annexed by Britain in 1887. The Maldives gained independence from Britain in 1965 and 1968 established democracy with a presidential system. Decades have seen political instability in the Maldives, democratic reform efforts, and the environmental challenges posed by climate change. The Maldives later became a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). It is also a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Non-Aligned Movement.The World Bank has ranked the Maldives as a high middle-class country. Fishing has historically been an important economic activity and is by far the largest sector after the fast-growing tourism industry. The Maldives has an “outstanding” rate in the Human Development Index, which has a significantly higher per capita income than other SAARC countries.The Maldives was a member of the Commonwealth from July 1982 to October 2016 after which the Maldives resigned from the organisation. It is worth mentioning that the Maldives became a member of the Commonwealth again on February 1, 2020.It is also important to note that the current government of the Maldives is very close to India, partly because Indian influence in the Maldives has grown significantly over the past year and a half. As the country’s largest source of income is tourism and leisure, there are 89 large guesthouses with accommodation and catering facilities as of 2008. In 2019 alone, about 1.8 million tourists came here for tourism.Ibrahim Nasir was a Maldivian politician who served as Prime Minister of the Maldives under Sultan Muhammad FaridDidi from December 1957 to 1968 and was the first President of the Republic from 1968 to 1978, followed by Mamun Abdul Qayyum in 1978. He began his 30-year term as President. His election can be seen as the beginning of an era of political stability and economic growth, as Mamunprioritised the development of the more impoverished islands. During his time, tourism flourished, and foreign contacts promoted growth. However, Mamun’s rule was controversial, with some critics saying that Mamun was a democratic ruler who overcame dissent by restricting freedom and political interests. Muhammad Ibrahim Lutfi, a businessman, led the uprising in November 1988. On the night of November 3, 1988, the Indian Air Force escorted a group of parachute battalions from Agra and flew 2,000 km (1,200 miles) to the Maldives. The Indian paratroopers landed at Halhola and captured the airport, winning the Maldives with regular military operations. The Indian Navy was also involved in this brief operation called Operation Cactus. Since then the Maldives has been plagued by political instability. In Mamun’s second term, the Maldives was repeatedly beset by various political crises due to India and many other powers. Muhammad Nasheed founded the Maldives Democratic Party (MDP) in 2003 and continued to increase pressure on Mamun. A new constitution approved in 2008, and the first direct presidential election was held, which was won by Muhammad Nasheed in the second round. Vice President Muhammad Waheed Hassan was sworn in as President Nasheed was later arrested.A UN working group has demanded the immediate release of Nasheed. At the end of 2013, elections were held. In the first round, former President Nasheed reportedly won the most votes but was overturned by the Maldives’ Supreme Court. Yamin further strengthened the growing ties with China.Yameen survived the assassination attempt at the end of 2015. It is noteworthy that the current government of the Maldives is mainly pro-India and in this context participated exclusively in the swearing-in of the President of the Maldives. It can be said that in the coming days, the Maldives will be leaning towards special ties with India, though no one knows that Delhi’s ruling clique is a shining example of expansionist ambitions against its neighbours.