Abu Dhabi (Web Desk): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday received the United Arab Emirates’ highest civilian honour amid an ongoing crackdown in occupied Kashmir.
Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, personally put the golden medal around Modi’s neck at an event in Abu Dhabi.
“You deserve it,” Sheikh Mohammed told Narendra Modi at one point while posing for pictures.
The honour, a testament of growing ties between Muslim-majority UAE and India, was bestowed upon the BJP leader at a time when Modi is facing flak for revoking the special status granted to Kashmir valley.
Modi had been announced as a recipient of the prize in April in a tweet from Sheikh Mohammed, however, his Kashmir move had triggered demands to review the decision.
“We have historical and comprehensive strategic ties with India, reinforced by the pivotal role of my dear friend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who gave these relations a big boost,” a tweet from Sheikh Mohammed read.
Though the international community is trying to school BJP over the status of Kashmir, UAE’s ambassador to India, in particular, referred to Kashmir as an internal issue for India.