A special envoy of couped Maldivian president Mohammed Nasheed rubbished allegations of any wrongdoing by an Indian company, GMR Group, which was awarded a contract to develop the Male airport. The special envoy, Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, who is in the city, in an interview to DNA on Friday, blamed Islamic fundamentalists in the present regime who are doing it to hurt India’s presence in the country.
GMR group, which also runs Delhi and Hyderabad airports, is developing the USD500 million Male airport of Maldives. It had won the contract during the regime of former president Mohammed Nasheed in June 2010.
Male airport is the second project that GMR is involved in the Maldives, the other being modernisation of Hanimaadhoo airport which is located on the northern side of the country. Problems for GMR started after Nasheed was unseated in a coup in February by Waheed.
“The deal with GMR was done in the most transparent manner. Those in the government now opposing the deal are doing it to down India’s interest. These fundamentalists have links with terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba,” said Zaki.
Zaki added that if Islamic fundamentalism goes unchecked, Maldives could turn into another terror state and cause great damage to Indian and to world security. Zaki has already met top central government administration in Delhi to seek their support for re-appointment of Nasheed and bring in a democratic government back to power. “I urge the Indian military establishment to take control of Maldives,” he said.
According to Zaki, many of the members of Adhaalath party-one among the ruling coalition parties, have leanings for strict Salafi thoughts of Islam which is synonymous with Wahhabism (ideological school for Al Queda and other terror groups) and it is they who are calling the shots in the government.