Pakistan today distanced itself from the ongoing political turmoil in the Maldives, saying it is following a policy of non-interference in the internal matters of other countries. Maldives Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim, who is on an official visit to Pakistan from February 8-10 as the special envoy of embattled President Abdulla Yameen, met Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and briefed him about the political situation in the island country. The Maldivian minister briefed Abbasi on the developments that led to the declaration of a state of emergency in Male, the Foreign Office said in a statement. "The prime minister stated that Pakistan firmly adheres to the policy of non-interference in the affairs of other countries and will continue to adhere to the principles of the UN charter in this regard," the statement said. The prime minister said that the relations between Pakistan and the Maldives is characterised by cordiality, mutual respect and commonality of interests. The special envoy reaffirmed the Maldives' support to Pakistan's initiatives for bringing peace and stability in the region, it said. "He also appreciated Pakistan for its support to the people and the Government of Maldives," the statement said. Male, which has seen several political crises since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Mohamed Nasheed in 2012, plunged into chaos last Thursday when the Supreme Court ordered the release of nine imprisoned Opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were "politically motivated and flawed". Yameen has refused to obey the court orders and declared a state of emergency in the country. Maldives' Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after Yameen declared a state of emergency.
Former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was also arrested. Yameen decided to send special envoys to China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to brief them about the deepening political crisis in the country. The Maldivian envoy in New Delhi said a special envoy could not be sent to India due to scheduling issues of the Indian leadership. The government's move to send envoys to three nations came after president has been internationally condemned for his action. The US asked Yameen to restore constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people in the country. The UN human rights chief has called the declaration of a state of emergency in the Maldives and the resulting suspension of constitutional guarantees an "all-out assault on democracy." UN officials offered to facilitate all-party talks to resolve the crisis in the country.