In an interview with the Indian Express, former President Mohamed Nasheed told his interviewers that he would “go to hell and back to bring democracy back to Maldives.”
Nasheed was asked to give his versions of the events of February 6 and 7, before being asked to describe Islamic radicalism in the Maldives.
“Radical Islam, as a movement, has been taking root in Maldives for a long time, especially during dictatorships when the only room for dissent is through these groups. They are the ones who gather in mosques, they are good at working underground. So anyone who wants to challenge authority would join them,” responded Nasheed.
“Youngsters are recruited, their mothers are told they can send their children for schooling to Pakistan. These young people go to Pakistan. There’s a school on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border where these children are brutalised. And often from these madarsas, they join the Taliban,” he continued.
Responding to queries about the prospect of free and fair elections, Nasheed said: “The new Constitution has established an Election Commission appointed by Parliament and answerable to Parliament. I have full confidence in the Commission. But if we give them (the current government) time till 2013, they will meddle with it. The elections must be observed and monitored. I hope there will be Indian assistance in monitoring these elections.”
Nasheed also took the opportunity to reaffirm the link between democracy, transparency, and effective climate change policies.