DEFENCE

Army chief plays coy on wisdom of India not intervening in Maldives

Bipin-Rawat-PTI Army Chief Bipin Rawat | PTI

Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday claimed that India's decision to not intervene in the ongoing political crisis in Maldives was “well thought out” but added that time would tell whether it was the right move.

He was responding to questions on whether India should have militarily intervened in the island nation after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency on February 4. Rawat claimed the diplomats and the 'political entity' in India had looked at Maldives and did what they thought was “best for them.”

THE WEEK had reported last month the Indian military had ordered aerial and naval units to go on alert for a possible deployment to Maldives, soon after the emergency proclamation. However, in the ensuing weeks, both the Maldives government and China had warned against outside interference in the country's political matters.

The regime of Yameen is perceived to be be moving away from India, which has been Maldives' main benefactor, and is decisively tilting toward Beijing. In 1988, Indian military forces had foiled a coup attempt in the Maldives by Sri Lankan mercenaries.