No point in Nasheed being at the Indian mission: Minister

Males, Feb 13 (IANS) There is "no point" of Mohamed Nasheed being at the Indian High Commission, said a senior Maldives minister who assured that "everything is under control" in his country.

"There is no point of his being there," Maldives Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb Abdhul Gafoor told IANS over phone from Male after the former president took refuge at the Indian mission here Tuesday as a court issued an arrest order for his failing to attend a hearing in the allegedly illegal detention of a judge.

Gafoor said that Nasheed "is there" at the Indian High Commission. He added that there would be "no effort to take him out.

"Anyone can visit the Indian High Commission," he said and suggested that the Indian media may be indulging in unnecessary speculation over the turn of events in his country.

He said the situation in his island country was "calm and stable" and very much "under control".

"Yeah, I think," said the senior minister when asked whether Male was in touch with New Delhi over this development.

Nasheed, 45, entered the Indian High Commission as the Hulhumal court issued an arrest order for Nasheed to be brought to court after he failed to attend the scheduled hearing over last year's detention of Criminal Court chief judge Abdulla Mohamed.

Nasheed resigned Feb 7 last year followed what he alleged was a coup. Mohammed Waheed Hassan succeeded him.

He later claimed that he was forced to quit at gun-point and urged the international community, particularly India, to help restore "democracy" in the South Asian archipelago.

Nasheed's political party, the Maldivian Democratic Party, has strongly condemned the arrest warrant and reiterated its belief that the arrest warrant and the charges against him are politically motivated.

Gafoor said that Tuesday's development is "not politically motivated". He said the judiciary, which was independent in his country, had in fact been lenient towards and allowed him to travel despite grave charges against him.

There had been widespread violence before and after Nasheed stepped down as president in February last year.

"It is nothing like that...Everything is under control," Gafoor told IANS when asked the government feared violence after Nasheed walked into the Indian mission.

He said Nasheed should come out and face court hearing and let law of the land take its course.

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