This is with reference to the article ‘A case for Aid?’ by Dr Ikramul Haq and Huzaima Bukhari. The government of the Maldives may not realize it yet, but it will commit a big mistake if it lets foreign forces interfere in its internal matters. It is moving on a path of religious extremism and the consequences of taking this course can be disastrous. I wonder why it does not learn from Pakistan’s example. During the war against Russian occupation of Afghanistan, Pakistan accepted aid to prepare a ragtag army of militants to fight against the Russians. Most of the members of this ‘army’ were inducted from religious seminaries. A large portion of the aid also went into promoting religious education and opening new seminaries in the country. The Russians were defeated and the war ended. What the armies created to fight the infidel forces have been doing since then is known to all.
The Maldives earns most of its revenues through tourism and tourists visit the country in large number because it offers enchanting scenery and a peaceful environment. If the peace is disrupted, no one would come to the Maldives. This, in turn, will ruin its economy. I’m sure the government and the people of the Maldives do not want to suffer this fate. They should decide soon what is best for them.