Indian Ocean is India’s soft underbelly, says Nasheed

The Indian Ocean is India’s soft underbelly, President Mohamed Nasheed has told Indian media.

Sify News reported that the Maldivian President sought to allay concerns here that Maldives could be used as a route to attack India although he acknowledged that some nationals of his country were getting terror training in Pakistan and some other countries.

“Terrorism issue is apolitical. We have to get a good grip on it,” Nasheed said in an interview while talking about the menace which is a cause of concern for the region and beyond.

“Security issues in Indian Ocean have lately been getting more and more serious…I mean we see the Mumbai attack also as an Indian ocean issue,” he said.

Noting that “India’s soft belly is through Indian Ocean” and no government in Delhi would be comfortable with it being exposed, he said Maldives and India are undertaking coordinated patrolling of the maritime areas.

“We have an understanding with India in patrolling… it is happening,” he said, adding India had also lent a helicopter for aerial surveillance of the Indian Ocean region.

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