Mal­dives govt re­leases pol­icy on ter­ror­ism, ex­trem­ism

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka—The Mal­dives gov­ern­ment says it plans to con­duct de­rad­i­cal­iza­tion and aware­ness pro­grams aimed at stop­ping its cit­i­zens from be­ing at­tracted by for­eign Is­lamist ex­trem­ist groups.

The mea­sures are part of the gov­ern­ment’s first pol­icy pa­per on ter­ror­ism and vi­o­lent ex­trem­ism re­leased pub­licly Thurs­day. Pres­i­dent Yameen Ab­dul Gay­oom pre­sented the pa­per to Par­lia­ment ear­lier this month.

The tiny In­dian Ocean ar­chi­pel­ago state with a pop­u­la­tion of 340,000 mostly Sunni Mus­lims is known pri­mar­ily for lux­u­ri­ous tourist re­sorts. How­ever, in re­cent years some res­i­dents have re­port­edly joined the Is­lamic State group.

Op­po­si­tion politi­cians say the num­ber ex­ceeds 300 and is the high­est per­cent­age of any coun­try given the Mal­dives’ small pop­u­la­tion.

The gov­ern­ment ac­knowl­edges a prob­lem but says the num­ber is much lower.—AP

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