“Ask forgiveness from India and apologize to PM Modi,” Maldivian opposition lawmakers asked President Muizzu

Opposition party leaders in the Maldives have asked Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu to apologize to India for his comments. Jumhooree Party (JP) leader Qasim Ibrahim said Muizzu should formally apologize to India and Prime Minister Modi for his verbal attack on India two weeks ago, after his state visit to China ended.

Also read: 'We Don't Need to Be Afraid of China': Jaishankar reacts to 'India Out' campaign in Maldives and Bangladesh

Muizzu, under whose leadership relations between Male and New Delhi took a serious hit, said on January 13 that the Maldives was not in the backyard of any particular country and that the Maldives would not allow other countries to “intimidate”.

Qasim expressed concern over the comments and urged President Muizzu to apologize to India for the indirect attack, Maldives Voice reported.

Opposition lawmakers said Muizzu made the remarks out of emotion and that the first politician to wear the “India Out” badge was former President Abdulla Yameen, who is also pro-China. Yameen served as President of the Maldives from 2013 to 2018.

“Yameen launched India Out to create unrest, create a divide between Maldivian society and Indian society. Former President Solih did not take any action and allowed them to do so without any restrictions,” he said, adding that Solih had banned the “India Out” campaign.

Also read: Maldivian Opposition Party Concerned Over Government's 'anti-India' Stance

Muizzu, on returning from his visit to China, said he would end Maldives' dependence on India in various sectors, including medical care. “We hope to stop importing poor quality medicines and choose to buy medicines directly from the original manufacturers. “We hope we can change this by importing medicines from Europe and America,” he said.

However, Qasim said India has advanced in the field of medicine and some medicines are imported from India to Europe. “India is at a higher level in this field, and even exports medicines to Europe, so we cannot do that.”

Meanwhile, opposition parties have moved to impeach Muizzu. The main opposition party, the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), said on Monday it was working with the Democrats to remove Muizzu.

Opposition parties decided to impeach the president after ruling coalition lawmakers obstructed a Parliament hearing over a decision to reject several ministerial appointments.

Garfield Woolery

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