Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday conferred its top award, The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance, on Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, who “humbly” accepted it, reported Geo News.
Modi, who was earlier in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for a visit, reached Manama, marking it as the first tour of an Indian prime minister to the Emirati state. He met the Bahraini king, as well his counterpart, Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, separately. “This is a recognition of India’s strong friendship with Bahrain, which goes back hundreds of years and is expanding rapidly in the 21st century,” the Indian PM wrote on his Twitter account.
The move — the second by an Arab country — comes a day after the UAE had conferred its highest civilian honour to Modi. Both awards led to uproar and outrage as a human rights crisis currently brews in Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) with New Delhi government continuing its clampdown in the disputed territory, including media and communications blackout, and politicians in the Himalayan territory under house arrest.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said in a statement that the UAE is supporter of Pakistan. He said while talking to media in Khanewal that Pakistan had good ties with the UAE and its leadership had recently offered financial assistance to Pakistan to stabilise its economic condition. He said Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had cancelled his visit to the UAE keeping in view the public sentiments.
Responding to a query, he said awarding highest civil award to Narendra Modi by the UAE was the result of relations between both the countries. He said the entire world had been criticising India after revoking of Section 370 and 35-A of the Indian constitution. He said Indian political parties had been split into groups after Modi adopted cruel strategy in held Kashmir.
Qureshi said Kashmiris were not allowed to offer Eid prayers. He said Indian security forces locked mosques, which exposed Indians hatred against the minorities.
On the other hand, he said, Pakistan was finalising Kartarpur Corridor to provide the Sikh community with an opportunity to visit their sacred place in Pakistan, despite tensions with India. He said Hindu, Sikh and all other minorities enjoyed complete religious freedom in Pakistan and they were freely observing their festivals.