By M M Special Correspondent
New Delhi :UAE is being sharply criticized on social meadi for its decision to give Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi the highest civilian award of the country in a time when he faces international pressure for placing seven million Kashmiris under draconian restrictions and detaining thousands.
Despite the Indian government’s arbitrary decision to abrogate Article 370A which gave special status to Muslim-majority Kashmir and putting the demographics of the Muslim-majority territory at risk, Abu Dhabi has seen fit to hand Modi the Order of Zayed.
The United Arab Emirates is set 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.
Online, people are lambasting Muslim-majority countries, particularly in the UAE, for remaining mostly silent on the crackdown.
The muted response has been attributed to the Gulf Arab countries’ $100bn in annual trade with India, making New Delhi an important economic partner.
UAE to give Modi highest civilian award: report.
Has UAE lost it? After what is happening in Kashmir? https://t.co/JgXSyiqCRF
— Farahnaz Zahidi (@FarahnazZahidi) August 20, 2019
Scores of social media users have blasted the Emirates’ plan, with one user asking “Has the UAE lost it?”
@MohamedBinZayed I wonder on which grounds are u awarding Modi
-For the backstabbing done to the kashmiris
-For mob lynching ppl
-For sinking economy
-For rupees at 71
Plz let us know the criteria of the awards plz.. @uaegov
— RiA D'Souza (@RiaRevealed) August 20, 2019
The fact that the “Order of Zayed,” or the “Zayed Medal” will be awarded to Modi was first revealed in April with Mohammed bin Zayed, yet another controversial Crown Prince best known by his three-letter initials, tweeted “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. In appreciation of his efforts, the UAE president grants him the Zayed Medal.”
Modi’s diplomacy tour will begin with the UAE, from where he will travel to Bahrain.
Kashmiris have staged near-daily protests since the Aug. 5 order revoking Kashmir’s special status, which was instituted shortly after India achieved independence from Britain in 1947.
Police officials said about 300 protests and clashes against India over Kashmir have taken place in recent weeks.
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.
In a series of tweets, Shehla Rashid, a Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement leader claims Indian armed forces are conducting night raids, picking up boys and ransacking houses since India-administered Kashmir’s autonomy was stripped two weeks ago.