UAE set to award India’s Modi amid brutal crackdown on Muslim-majority Kashmir

The United Arab Emirates is preparing to award Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “Order of Zayed,” the highest civilian award of the country, as he plans to visit the Peninsula. The timing of the reported plan to decorate Modi with the prize has been met with immediate backlash taking into consideration the Indian government’s recent crackdown on Muslim-majority Kashmir.

Modi is set to visit the UAE on Friday and he will then travel on to Bahrain.  

His visit comes as he faces international pressure for placing seven million Kashmiris under draconian restrictions and detaining thousands in an attempt to place the territory under total Indian rule.

The UAE’s decision to honour Modi has come under sharp criticism from British Member of Parliament Naz Shah. In a letter the Bradford West MP said: “It saddened me greatly, after returning from the holy pilgrimage of Hajj, to see the news that Modi, once recognised as the butcher of Gujarat being offered the UAE’s highest civilian honour.”

Despite the Indian government’s violent attempts to annex Kashmir, putting the demographics of the Muslim-majority territory at risk, Abu Dhabi has seen fit to hand Modi the Order of Zayed when he touches down.

The juxtaposition of honouring the Indian premier as his government is accused of atrocities has not been lost on social media users, however.

Earlier this month the Indian government suddenly locked down Kashmir, enforcing a communications blackout, state-wide curfew and shutdown of the press.

Thousands of people, mostly young male protesters, have been arrested and detained in Kashmir during the ongoing communications blackout and security lockdown imposed, according to high-ranking Kashmir police officials and police arrest statistics reviewed by The Associated Press.