Speaker of Maldives Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed on Saturday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in India believes in "positive conservatism" like him.
Speaking at the India Ideas Conclave 2020 here, Nasheed said he believes that the BJP government like him believes in positive conservatism, "not what conservatism in the West is accused of, that is, fascism and ultra-nationalism."
"I call myself a conservative because every time I was arrested and tortured, I was told it was for the good of society," he said.
Nasheed was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2015 after a quick and disputed trial for allegedly ordering arrest of a senior judge. However, the country's Supreme Court had in 2018 canceled the sentence over lack of evidence.
Speaking at the conclave on Thursday, Nasheed said that India has always respected Maldives' sovereignty and treated it as an equal.
"Many superpowers have risen, empires rise and fall and now we see India on the rise. As India rises and attains the status of superpower... We do not see how India's actions have ever been a threat to the Maldives or any of its neighbours. India has always respected our sovereignty and always treated us as equals, however small we are," said Nasheed.
The former President also lauded the Indian government by saying that it has never happened that a project initiated by New Delhi had become a debt trap.
"Maldives now has a democratic government and now with Indian assistance. It is all very different. Indian projects in the Maldives are transparent and everyone knows what is going on. Everybody knows the price of it. Indian projects tendered by Government of India are transparent. It is very rare, has almost never happened that any of these have become a debt trap. I like India rising," he said.
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