New Delhi: Former president Mohammed Nasheed hit out at India in an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN. Nasheed said he is disappointed with India's reaction to the mutiny in his country and hopes that it would change its course soon.
Nasheed said that he was forced to step down at gunpoint. He further said that the speaker of the House should take over and have fresh elections in two months.
Here is the full transcript of the interview:
Sumon Chakrabarti: Your successors are saying that what you are saying about the incident on the day of the coup, not everything is right, that is not how it happened. How do you respond to that?
Mohammed Nasheed: I went to the military headquarters because there were about 150 rebelling police men outside the police station. I wanted the military to arrest them but the military refused to do that, because they were in league with the police, I later found out. They were not willing to take the rebellious police. They finally gave me an ultimatum that if I didn’t resign in one hour, they will resort to violence. Then I decided the best way to get myself out of the police headquarters would be to ask them that i would like to resign in the President’s office.
Sumon Chakrabarti: So you are practically saying that you felt threatened that they will kill you?
Mohammed Nasheed: Well, this is what they were saying. Because there were around 150 rebellious police outside and everyone inside was in league with the police. There were three people who were there, the present Defence Minister, the present Chief of Police and another former police officer. These gentlemen were there. But they were not from the military neither were they from the police. There was no reason for them to be there. And you would understand that during the past 20 days some of the people in the Opposition have been calling to topple the government.
Sumon Chakrabarti: Sir, are you saying that it is a 20-day planned coup or you are saying that this planning happened much earlier.
Mohammed Nasheed: The planning happened much earlier but the execution of it and final execution of it was on February 7.
Sumon Chakrabarti: Now, diplomats from different countries are in Maldives and they are talking to you and they are talking to the other side. They are talking to Dr Waheed as well. These are the turn of events you are telling them. How are they responding?
Mohammed Nasheed: I ask myself, why did I then resign. The people are with us. You can see the pictures; you can the numbers that are coming out. You can see there is no one against us. So I think for the international community as well, it is very obvious that there is foul play. Germany, European countries, the US and India are saying that they need to investigate the issue.
Sumon Chakrabarti: Well, India did not say they need to investigate the issue. India has been your closest partner. Are you disappointed with the Indian reaction?
Mohammed Nasheed: A fair amount very true. Our party leaders as well as the people are wondering why there was no understanding between Indian authorities and us. It is an issue of concern.
Sumon Chakrabarti: Are you disappointed with the Indian reaction?
Mohammed Nasheed: We would always hope that there will be proper engagement of India with the issues in the Maldives.
Sumon Chakrabarti: You had a meeting with Robert Blake of the US. How did it go?
Mohammed Nasheed: They also want to find out what happened and how we may be able to go forward. We are pointing out that it will be very difficult to work with Waheed because he does not even have one single parliamentary seat neither does he have one single local council. So, in terms of political connection, representativeness of the people, it is very limited, therefore there is no need to do it. Dr Waheed cannot come up with even one Cabinet Minister with out parliamentary approval. For that you need MPs and political party.
Sumon Chakrabarti: According to you what is the way forward?
Mohammed Nasheed: We feel that Waheed should resign. The speaker of the House should take over and have fresh elections in two months.
Sumon Chakrabarti: Who is convinced with that theory?
Mohammed Nasheed: Well, Europeans understand the position very clearly. And I think the vast majority of the commonwealth countries understand the position. India and the United States are perhaps finding it difficult to take a position simply perhaps because of the nature of their diplomacy.