The Maldives’ President-elect Mohamed Muizzu has emphasized the negotiations with New Delhi for the removal of Indian troops and equipment from Male, aligning with the “Out India” political agenda. However, the collaboration between India and the Maldives in the field of defense and security has been extensive and impactful.
India has contributed significantly to the Maldives’ capacity building, specifically through the gifting of a Dornier 228 maritime patrol aircraft and two HAL Dhruv helicopters, which have been used for various operations including search and rescue, medical evacuations, and maritime surveillance. These aircraft have played a pivotal role in safeguarding the Maldivian waters, combating illegal activities, and enhancing the overall security and efficiency of the region.
The collaborative efforts have resulted in the acquisition of essential skills by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), enabling them to handle emergencies effectively. Joint exercises have facilitated optimal resource utilization and effective knowledge transfer, fostering bilateral trust and cooperation between the two nations.
The Indian aircraft’s involvement in search and rescue missions has been crucial, having saved over 500 lives in the last five years. Additionally, their role in providing timely medical evacuation services has been instrumental in addressing medical emergencies, particularly in remote and underserved areas, underscoring the significance of these initiatives as lifelines for the Maldivian population.
Furthermore, the partnership between India and the Maldives serves as a testament to the strong bond between the two nations, representing a shared commitment to safeguarding the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). Despite potential political differences, the focus remains on nurturing and strengthening this collaborative relationship for the greater benefit of the region.
Image Source: https://www.indiannavy.nic.in/content/indian-navy-deployed-alh-maldives