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Maldives: Former president Nasheed still holed up, Khurshid steps in


Altamash Hashmi,CNN-IBN
Feb 14, 2013 at 09:01pm IST

Male/New Delhi: There is no end to the crisis in the Maldives as former president Mohamed Nasheed is still holed up in the Indian high commission in Male despite Delhi's intervention. Meanwhile, Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid on Thursday spoke to his Maldivian counterpart, explaining India's position.

Nasheed is in hiding at the Indian Embassy in Male for more than 24 hours to avoid Maldivian court's arrest orders. According to his lawyer Hassan Latif, his men had sought Indian mediation to solve the crisis between the current Maldivian government and the former president.

After months of being undecided, India clearly took a stand in favour of former president Mohammed Nasheed.

"It is an unusual situation. We are continuing our conversation. Hope we can come to a resolution of present situation...it is ongoing process, we had a good and useful conversation. Maldives are valuable friends of India," said Salman Khurshid.

Sources have told CNN-IBN that Nasheed may stay at the Indian Embassy for a while as negotiations with the Maldivian government may take some time. However, according to the Maldivian government, Nasheed is now free to move where he wants.

Maldivian press secretary Masood Imad said, "The warrant is not valid anymore, so Nasheed is a free man again. The procedure here is the court issues a arrest warrant fore a reason, and if the reason and time frame have passed, then the warrant seizes to exist."

Experts feel that the arrest warrant against the former president is Maldivian government's way of alienating him from the upcoming elections in September.

Maldives expert Jyoti Malhotra said, "Nasheed is a challenge for them in the election. They want to arrest him so that he is disqualified, also that once he is arrested, the MDP breaks down."

Nasheed's future seems uncertain once again in his own country. In February 2012, he was overthrown by the current government in a coup. However, his way of seeking help from the Indian government has once again put India in a very difficult position, leaving Indian interest in Maldives too in an uncertain situation.

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