Shivshankar Menon: A change in govt. in Maldives is not in India’s best interest

Former National Security Advisor of India, Shivshankar Menon. (Photo/The Hindhu)

A change administration in Maldives is not in the best interest of India, says former National Security Advisor of India, Shivshankar Menon.

The Indian diplomat made the comment in response to a question by a student at a festival at the National Institute of Technology in India, last Saturday.

The student asked if India should intervene in the current political crisis in Maldives.

In response to the question, Menon said the issue at play was bigger than a simple intervention by India.

He said the former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed wanted India’s physical presence in Maldives to topple the current administration and return to power.

“What the former President Mohamed Nasheed wants is for India to go to Maldives, topple the current administration, and bring him to power…. I don’t believe it is in India’s interest to replace the current administration in Maldives,” said Menon.

Menon served as India’s National Security Advisor under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh from 2011 to 2014. He also served as India’s Foreign Secretary and ambassador to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China and Israel.

The 15-day State of Emergency declared in Maldives on February 5 was extended to 30 more days on February 20.

The External Affairs Ministry of India has declared the vote at Parliament to grant the 30-day extension as unconstitutional, and expressed deep concern over the situation in Maldives.