The relationship between India and Maldives has never been very warm, but in recent time it has become more strained than ever.
Maldivian government is trying its best to ‘undermine’ Indian influence in its land. After the helicopter and work permit snub, Male has now signed a capacity-building agreement in the power sector with Pakistan.
Maldives state electricity company, Stelco, has signed a MoU for cooperation in ‘institution building’ activities. This recent development between both the nations has come at a time when Male has stopped issuing work permit to indians, delaying work on projects being handled by India like the construction of a police academy.
It is difficult to figure out for Indian officials, what exactly Male wants from Pakistan when Stelco’s all major projects are already being handled by Chinese companies.
One reason why Maldives has dragged its feet on India’s proposal for deploying a Dornier surveillance aircraft on its territory is said to be its consideration of a similar offer from Pakistan.
The Maldives government under Abdulla Yameen made it clear earlier this year that it wanted India to take back its copters and the crew, which includes around six pilots. India had written to Maldives recently for an extension on the deadline. Interestingly, visas of the Indian personnel have also expired.