New Delhi, October 1
After the high of a well-organised G20 Summit, Indian diplomacy is in a trough as it is facing multiple challenges in its immediate neighbourhood. The Afghan embassy run by pro-Ghani elements shut down on Saturday and the pro-India incumbent President was defeated in the election in Maldives despite considerable monetary investment by New Delhi over the past five years.
Sri Lanka had sidestepped concerns expressed by India and the US and allowed the docking of a Chinese “research’’ ship “Shi Yan 6” at Hambantota Port. Colombo overlooked the bitter diplomatic flap last year with India after it permitted another Chinese research vessel “Yuan Wang 5” to berth at Hambantota port.
To assuage India, Sri Lanka had then promised to frame “standard operating procedure” for future port calls by foreign research vessels. But little is known about that assurance. In the case of the Afghan embassy, a statement issued by its Ambassador Farid Mamundzay, squarely blamed New Delhi for the lack of support. “The Embassy has experienced a notable absence of crucial support from the host government,” said the statement.
The abandonment of the Embassy puts India in a difficult position. It has already deployed a “technical team” in Kabul and by rule of reciprocation, it ought to allow a Taliban team in New Delhi now that elements appointed by then Afghan President Ashraf Ghani have cleared out.
As regards Maldives, even though PM Narendra Modi congratulated President-elect Mohamed Muizzu, some challenging times lie ahead.
Yameen out of jail
Jailed former Maldives
President Abdulla Yameen was transferred from prison to house arrest on Sunday, fulfilling the campaign promise of President-elect Mohamed Muizzu. Of late, Yameen’s party was leading the ‘India out’ campaign against New Delhi’s alleged plans to set up a naval base at Addu Islands.
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