HomeIndian DefenceDelhi, Male reach troop deal; Pakistan offers help to Maldives

Delhi, Male reach troop deal; Pakistan offers help to Maldives

NEW DELHI: India on Friday agreed to replace its military personnel running various aviation platforms in Maldives with non-uniformed civilians while Pakistan has assured the island country of support to address its “pressing development needs.”
New Delhi’s decision came at the India-Maldives second core group meeting held here on Friday. According to a statement released by the MEA, “Both sides agreed on a set of mutually workable solutions to enable continued operation of Indian aviation platforms that provide humanitarian and medevac services to the people of Maldives.”

During the meeting, both sides continued their discussions on wide-ranging issues related to bilateral cooperation towards identifying steps to enhance the partnership, including expediting the implementation of ongoing development cooperation projects, according to the MEA statement. However, the statement issued by the Maldives government outlined the “specifics of the agreement”. Maldives said that India agreed to replace the military personnel in one of the three aviation platforms by 10 March of this year.

Maldives’ foreign ministry further said that India will replace its military personnel in the other two platforms by May 10, 2024.

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Meanwhile, Anwaar-ul Haq Kakar, the eighth caretaker Prime Minister of Pakistan, on Thursday assured Maldives President Mohammed Muizzu of support over a telephone call.

Pakistan was earlier providing scholarships to Maldivian students to study in its seminaries. People familiar with Pakistan-Maldives dynamics claim that some of these students ended up joining extremist forces, including outlawed groups. In the 70s and 80s, numerous Maldivian students travelled to Pakistan to receive free education from ‘madrasas’ and returned home to give Wahhabi-inspired discourses. On the trade front, interestingly Pakistan’s economic relations with Maldives are minimal due to lack of direct shipping services between the two countries.

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