New Delhi, May 14 (IANS) In a bid to dispel apprehensions about Islamists taking over in the Maldives due to the current political turmoil there, the Indian Ocean nation’s President Mohamed Waheed Monday said his predecessor Mohamed Nasheed was trying to instil fear among the international community over fundamentalism.
“Nasheed has been trying to scare Indians,” Waheed, who is in India on a five-day visit told a press conference at the culmination of the Delhi-leg of his stay.
He said Islamic fundamentalism and China’s greater influence in the Maldives were the two issues Nasheed, leader of the Maldivian Democratic Party, was using to cause concern among the global community after his ouster from power against the backdrop of a mutiny in the police in early February this year.
Nasheed had, during his visit to India in April to enlist support for his call for early presidential polls in his country, talked about Islamic fundamentalists growing in influence in the present government in Maldives under Waheed.
The president said though Maldives is a Muslim country, its population is well educated, mostly from reputed universities in foreign democratic countries. He also dismissed Nasheed’s claim of a coup on Feb 7 when he resigned his presidency.
On the question of a defence agreement with China, that Nasheed had talked about, Waheed said there was no such agreement.
“We have a defence and security agreement with India and that understanding will never be at risk,” he added.