Maldives lifts emergency

Updated 11 November 2015

Maldives lifts emergency

MALE, Maldives: The Maldives government Tuesday bowed to mounting international pressure and lifted a state of emergency imposed last week after an alleged plot to blow up the president onboard his speedboat.
The government said it had decided to end the week-long emergency after the Indian Ocean archipelago’s security forces advised President Abdulla Yameen that “the overall security situation in the country has improved.”
“The Government of the Maldives today has lifted the state of emergency in the country with immediate effect,” said a Foreign ministry Statement.
“With the lifting of the state of emergency, all fundamental rights that were suspended, have been restored.”
Yameen imposed the state of emergency last Wednesday in a move that gave wider powers to police and armed forces to arrest and suspending freedom of assembly and movement.
The former colonial power Britain as well as the United States, the European Union and neighboring Sri Lanka had called for an immediate end to the emergency which was seen as a tool to suppress dissent.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) welcomed the end of emergency rule, saying the decision to invoke the emergency was designed to give the government legal cover to crack down on its opponents and impeach his own estranged Vice President Ahmed Adeeb.
The Maldives, a popular destination for honeymooners, has been rocked by political unrest in recent months, which reached new heights last week when Adeeb’s impeachment was fast-tracked using emergency laws.
“Yameen’s increasingly erratic, paranoid and dangerous behavior is damaging the country and proves he is unfit to be president,” the MDP said in a statement. “He has failed and should step down.”
Adeeb, whose predecessor was also impeached in July, has been accused of high treason over an explosion on the presidential speedboat in September that left Yameen unhurt but injured his wife and one of his bodyguards.
Yameen had insisted that it was necessary to use draconian powers to deal with at least three attempts to kill him and the stability of the nation of 340,000 Sunni Muslims living in a cluster of 1,192 tiny coral islands across the equator in the Indian Ocean.


India might resort to covert operations: Pakistan FM

Updated 17 August 2019

India might resort to covert operations: Pakistan FM

  • Qureshi praised the Security Council’s call to all parties to refrain from action that could aggravate the situation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi warned that India might resort to a “false flag operation” to divert attention from Jammu and Kashmir following a UN Security Council meeting on Friday to discuss the issue.

“To divert international attention, most probably India will resort to some false flag operation. We want to tell the international community that we have doubts about India’s intentions. We know their plans and the nation is ready for it,” he said.

In a letter to the Security Council on Aug. 13, Qureshi asked for an urgent meeting on Jammu and Kashmir after its special autonomous status was revoked by India. Indian-administered Kashmir has remained under lockdown, with phone and internet services suspended since the decision on Aug. 5.

Following the Security Council meeting Qureshi addressed a joint press conference with Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, who said that Islamabad was ready to “defend any misadventures on the part of India.”

Pakistan’s Foreign Office had formed a special committee to discuss future action on the issue, Qureshi said.

Kashmir desks will be established at various Pakistani embassies around the world “in order to carry out effective communication on the matter,” he said.

“The committee on Kashmir has members from all concerned parties, including members of opposition parties.” 

Qureshi praised the Security Council’s call to all parties to refrain from action that could aggravate the situation.

“We achieved a milestone yesterday, which shocked India. The Kashmir issue was raised at a platform which is responsible for resolving the dispute,” he said.

The foreign minister commended the “indomitable and unbroken spirit” of residents in Indian-administered Kashmir, saying that despite the curfew Kashmiris came out of their houses on Friday to offer special prayers.

“It was a glimpse into their emotions, into what it will be like after the curfew lifts,” he said.

Qureshi said that world bodies have responded positively to Pakistan’s call to discuss the issue. “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called for an immediate end to the curfew,” he said.

Discussing India’s move to revoke Article 370 of the constitution, Qureshi said: “Pakistan does not recognize Article 370 of the Indian constitution, it is not our concern. Our concern is with the forceful change in Kashmir’s demographic and violation of the rights of the people of Kashmir.”

Meanwhile, Ghafoor said that the Pakistan army will respond to any act of aggression by India.

“Pakistan is a responsible state, but India has always threatened us. We are planning how to manage the threats from India,” he said.

“At present, the biggest issue in Jammu and Kashmir is human rights violations. The entire region has been turned into a prison,” Ghafoor said.

A former Pakistani ambassador to India, Abdul Basit, backed the foreign minister’s covert operation claim, saying that amid growing international pressure a staged terrorist attack by India could be used to divert attention from Jammu and Kashmir.

He said any direct attack on Pakistan by India would be a huge mistake. “They (India) might have worked out their strategies, but when the situation is so tense, it would not be wise to open another front. The situation will be clearer after the curfew is lifted, but I don’t see direct conflict anytime soon.”

Basit urged Pakistan to arrange an OIC foreign ministers summit in Islamabad as quickly as possible.

“Along with the summit, Pakistan should also hold a convention of Kashmiri diaspora in London or somewhere that can come up with a resolution. Pakistan should also deploy a special envoy on Kashmir,” he said.