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Why India is unable to bring back 28 sailors & 2 choppers Maldives doesn’t want

Sailors were to escort choppers back home but their visas expired on 30 June and Yameen govt is yet to renew them. New Delhi: For the past 38 days, a detachment of 28 Indian sailors and two Indian helicopters are stranded in the Maldives as the visas of the personnel expired on 30 June. The sailors are part of the contingent that was to bring the choppers back home.  The government of President Abdulla Yameen has refused to renew their visas. Also Read: India’s choppers to fly back from Maldives in 10 days as ties grow cold. The Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopters (Dhruv ALH) were gifted to the Maldives in 2013 but the Yameen government earlier this year made it clear that India should take them back, setting a deadline of 30 June. One of the choppers is in Gan, on the southern tip of the Maldives, in a lagoon named Addu, and the other in Kaddhoo, an...
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India’s choppers to fly back from Maldives in 10 days as ties grow cold

The cold vibes from Male for New Delhi signals a rollback of the country’s ‘India-first’ policy and coincides with a growing warmth in ties with Beijing. New Delhi: India is set to order the return of its two-helicopter detachment stationed at strategic islands in the Maldives since 2013. The government of the Indian Ocean archipelago, headed by President Abdulla Yameen, refused India’s offers to extend the period of deployment earlier this year, signalling a rollback of the country’s ‘India-first’ policy. The two helicopters — stationed at the Gan airfield in Addu, the Maldives’ southern-most island, and at Laamu, on the northern tip — are operated by the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard (ICG). The detachment totals 25 crew members, including 12 pilots, six each from the Navy and the ICG. “We expect the crew and the helicopters to be back in about 10 days,” a source in the government told The...
Sushma Swaraj Mohamed Asim

As ties nosedive, India voted against Maldives at the UN Security Council

India’s move reflects its frustration with President Yameen who, while inching closer to China, is demolishing New Delhi’s presence in Maldives. New Delhi: As the relationship between India and the Maldives nose-dives, it is learnt that Delhi voted against Malé and in favour of Indonesia for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council last week. Delhi’s decision is a measure of its frustration against the authoritarian regime of President Abdulla Yameen, who Thursday sentenced the 82-year-old former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, chief justice Abdulla Saeed and justice Ali Hameed to 19 months in prison. They were charged with refusing to hand over their phone for a police investigation. “Yes, India voted against the Maldives in the election on June 9 for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council,” a government source told ThePrint. The sentencing of Gayoom and the two Supreme Court judges to “long prison terms without a fair trial”,...
File image of former Maldivian president Maumoon Abdul Gayoum at the UN Climate Change Conference in Nusa Dua, Bali island, Indonesia

India slams Maldives for ‘long prison terms’ handed to Maldivian ex-president, top judge

The foreign ministry said the sentences will raise questions on the credibility of the country's presidential election this September.
A file image of Donald Trump | Wikimedia Commons

Trump-Kim resume meeting and Saudi Arabia’s historic decision

The remarks of the US ambassador to Germany slammed as 'undiplomatic' and India accused of 'bullying' by Maldivian parliamentarian.
Poster of upcoming film Veere Di Wedding | @vdwthefilm/Twitter

Veere Di Wedding is banned in Pakistan, while Afghan bowler Rashid Khan packs a punch

Despite being removed for life from politics, Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) is slated to return to power after elections in Pakistan in July, Fatima Bhutto writes a new book and in the Maldives, police prevent voters from participating in an opposition presidential primary. Curated by Sharanya Munsi and Priyamvada Grover  Will Nawaz Sharif’s party win Pakistan’s general election? With Pakistan gearing up for general elections 2018 on 25 July, The Economist’s prediction will surely make Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz very happy, The Express Tribune says. Not only is the PML-N expected to be reelected “on the back of a strong showing in Punjab, with Shahbaz Sharif as the next prime minister, but that the ousted Nawaz Sharif “will remain influential in the party.” Certainly, instability will continue, as military favourites, Imran Khan’s PTI party is unlikely to take the possible verdict lying down. According to The Economist, “unfavourable court rulings, resurgent opposition parties and worsening relations...
File photo of BCCI headquarters in Mumbai

India, Pak DGMOs talk peace on hotline, as BCCI seeks to know how to respond to Pak Cricket Board

The Nations Next Door is a daily roundup of the most interesting news and views from across South Asia.
Asad Durrani

Pakistan bans ex-spy chief from leaving the country, while Kabul and Islamabad talk peace

The Nations Next Door is a daily roundup of the most interesting news and views from across South Asia.
A Chinese Navy vessel off the coast of India. The Chinese Navy is building warships to add to its fleet much faster than imagined.

No confrontation or warning shots at Chinese warships near Maldives: Indian Navy

Indian Navy spokesperson categorically denies Nikkei Asian Review report about face-off near Male; no Chinese navy ships observed in the area.
Maldives police forcibly enter the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) camp to break up celebrations of opposition supporters

Is the Maldives India’s Grenada, and will Narendra Modi be India’s Reagan?

The Maldives offers Modi one of his gravest foreign policy challenges to date. He had made a reputation as a man of iron. Let him not let that iron go to rust.

On Camera

File photo of Aseemanand being escorted by police personnel | PTI

Samjhauta blast acquittals have turned India’s accusing finger at Pakistan inwards

After the Samjhauta acquittal, it will be difficult for Indians to look Pakistanis in the eye and ask them tough questions about terrorism and 26/11 Mumbai attack.
Illustration by Soham Sen/ThePrint

Should liberals and Congress feel sorry for LK Advani not being on the BJP list?

Many Congress supporters and commentators expressed their disappointment over the BJP’s decision to drop LK Advani from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar seat for 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Defence

File photo of Yasin Malik | Common

Security forces given ‘free hand’ in Kashmir Valley weeks before Lok Sabha polls

Modi govt bans Yasin Malik's JKLF. Home ministry official says it was responsible for the genocide & exodus of Kashmiri Pandits.
Illustration by Soham Sen | ThePrint

China humiliated India because of these 5 fatal follies of Modi Doctrine

India looks less equal to China than 5 years ago, US alliance is hobbled by trade, and Pakistan looks anything but chastened by Balakot. What’s gone wrong?