Pakistan, Maldives energy deal antagonises New Delhi

A deal struck between Pakistan and Maldives has reportedly left New Delhi vexed and confused, leading to a further deterioration in relations between India and Maldives, reported Maldives Independent

An agreement signed last month between Maldives STELCO and Pakistan’s WAPDA focuses on cooperation and capacity building in the energy sector, according to reports.

This new deal has antagonised India, straining bilateral relations between Maldives and India following a controversial and widely condemned 45 day state of emergency in Kathmandu.

Pakistan and Maldives enjoy cordial relations with China, which is heavily investing in the region through the One Belt One Road infrastructure projects, which India views with suspicion.

An Indian diplomat described Maldives President’s recent tilt away from New Delhi as “fully encouraged by his Chinese friends, pushing India to test the limits of our power.”

Indian envoy says bilateral trade with Pakistan can increase to $30b

China is currently backing extravagant projects in Pakistan, which include coal fired power plants, hydro power stations and wind farms, while there is an influx of Chinese nationals into the country, looking to benefit from this infrastructure boom.

Majority of Pakistan’s current power infrastructure is also heavily reliant on Beijing’s expertise and resources.

Given its weak financial situation, Pakistan is not in a position to help Maldives, however according to an Indian official, Maldives President Yameen is trying to warm up to Pakistan, in an attempt to “undermine Indian influence in Maldives.”

This story originally appeared in the Maldives Independent

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