Nasheed's aide slams Maldives president

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 22, 2012 17:50 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) A top aide of former Maldivian president Mohamed Nasheed Thursday accused incumbent Waheed Hassan of "playing India against China" in his country and pushed for seeking "military help" from India to "defuse" the current situation in the island country.

"Waheed Hassan is playing India against China, which is not in the interest of the region and SAARC. Adhaalath party (part of the current coalition) is the most extreme fundamentalist party in Maldives," Ibrahim Hussein Zaki, a close aide of Nasheed and a former minister, told reporters here.

"If we were in the government, we definitely would have done it by now...If Islamic fundamentalism takes over the country, my best friend (India) has to be on the ground," Zaki replied when asked whether Maldives should seek military help from India.

Zaki has held a series of meetings in India, including with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, to update New Delhi on the current volatile situation and rising Islamic fundamentalism in the island nation.

Zaki was among the top associates of Nasheed's party MDP, who were arrested in the Maldivian capital Male on the charge of alcohol consumption last week.

The MDP has rubbished allegations, saying the arrests were "politically motivated".

India has underlined the need for broad−based political reconciliation in the Maldives.

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