Honouring India’s PM in UAE sparks wave of condemnation
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the United Arab Emirates's highest civilian honour despite his country’s involvement in human rights violations against the Muslim-majority Kashmir region.
The move came only one week after the Indian government’s decision to revoke the special status accorded to Indian-administered Kashmir in its constitution.
The award has sparked outrage among rights activists who blamed the UAE rulers for ignoring the suffering of thousands of Muslims living in Indian-administered Kashmir.
"With several Gulf states in an ever-tightening embrace with Modi, human rights have been discarded in favour of economic opportunities," wrote Samah Hadid, a Beirut-based human rights advocate.
"India has not only escaped international condemnation for its actions, it is even shoring up support from Muslim allies," she added. "The plight of Kashmiris will not only be silenced by India's clampdown but also the apathy of those who long claimed to speak for them."
In an open letter to MBZ, British parliamentarian Naz Shah from the Labour party asked him to reconsider giving the award due to the "brutality" she described Modi as directing.
"I ask you to question this decision and reconsider giving such an award, not only because the majority of the Kashmiri people share the same faith as you, but because we have a duty as human beings to stand up against the disregard of human rights and evil," Shah wrote.