Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Sunday conferred the country’s top award, The King Hamad Order of the Renaissance, on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who “humbly” accepted it.
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 conferred its highest civilian honour on Modi. Both awards led to uproar and outrage as a human rights crisis currently brews in Indian-held Kashmir, with New Delhi government continuing its clampdown in the disputed territory, including media and communications blackout, and putting politicians in the Himalayan territory under house arrest.