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What’s common between PM Khan and Maldivian President Solih

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News Analysis |

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday called on Maldive’s President-elect Ibrahim Mohammed Solih to felicitate him on his victory in the recent presidential elections. To kick-start a new era of cooperation between the two nations, PM has vowed to boost bilateral relations and trade ties with the South Asian country, the Republic of Maldives, an independent island country in the north-central Indian Ocean.

PM Khan hoped that under the leadership of Ibrahim Mohammad Solih, the Maldives and its people will achieve great success and prosperity. Both leaders showed intent to work closely on issues of mutual interest and for the benefit of peoples of both countries.

The country earns nearly $3 billion every year from holidaymakers visiting luxury hotels and scuba-diving resorts.

The Maldivian President also invited the PM to visit the Maldives at a mutually convenient date. He thanked the PM Khan for the telephone call and congratulated him on assumption of his office. The Maldives, like Pakistan, has also been embroiled in a deep-rooted political crisis and faced lengthy periods of dictatorship.

A popular tropical destination for the tourists has seen turmoil this year. The Maldives is a top-notch holiday spot, which attracts millions every year. The country earns nearly $3 billion every year from holidaymakers visiting luxury hotels and scuba-diving resorts.

Read more: The Maldives: a honeymoon haven in peril

The acrimonious situation erupted when the former president Abdulla Yameen refused to comply with the Supreme Court decision to free the opposition leaders in custody under political coercion. He imposed a state of emergency and arrested the Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Judge Ali Hameed.

Later, Yameen ordered the arrest of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled the country for more than 30 years. After the political unrest, joint opposition candidate of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) unexpectedly triumphed in the hotly contested elections against the Yameen of the Progressive Party (PPM).

PM Khan, however, remains in strong position after civil-military unity in Pakistan, while in the Maldives, democracy remains as fragile as ever.

The strongman Yameen conceded his defeat and met the President-elect to congratulate him. Amid a defeat of China-backed Yameen, the unlikely outcome has again tilted the influence of power towards India. President Ibrahim rose to prominence after the series of political crises that left citizens desperate for change.

Pakistan’s incumbent government is also the product of change. The way Ibrahim Solih played an instrumental role in establishing multi-party democracy in the Maldives; PM Khan has broken the two-party system in Pakistan and defeated the status quo under the slogan of change.

Read more: When Imran Khan Rules Pakistan

The people of both the countries expect a lot from their respective leaders. PM Khan, however, remains in strong position after civil-military unity in Pakistan, while in the Maldives, democracy is currently in a fragile state.