British MP Naz Shah urges UAE to reconsider giving award to ‘Butcher of Gujarat’

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LONDON: Kashmir-origin British politician Naz Shah has written a letter to Abu Dhabi crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed urging him to reconsider giving the country’s highest civil award to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In her letter, the British parliamentarian said that she was saddened to learn after performing Hajj that Modi, once recognized as the Butcher of Gujarat, being offered the highest civilian award.

“I ask you to question this decision and reconsider giving such an award, not only because the majority of Kashmiri people share the same faith as you, but because we have a duty as human being to stand up against the disregard of human rights and evil.

“If your trade deal prevents you from making a stand or even speaking up on behalf of the Kashmiri people – at the very least as a represenative of the people of UAE remain silent and condemn the actions of Prime Minister Modi within your heart. For the people of Kashmir, I ask that you at least show the recognition rather than celebrating or endorsingi an oppressor while the cries of the oppressed are blocked out,” she added.

The British MP from Bradford also posted a copy of her letter to Abu Dhabi ruler on Twitter.

Modi is scheduled to pay his third visit to the UAE on August 23-24, and receive the Zayed Medal, according to India’s Ministry of External Affairs. He will also fly to Bahrain from 24 to 25.

The Indian PM will meet Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to discuss bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual interest, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

“Prime Minister Modi would receive the Order of Zayed, the highest civil decoration of the UAE which was conferred earlier in April 2019 in recognition of the distinguished leadership of Prime Minister Modi for giving a big boost to bilateral relations between the two countries.”

The award in the name of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, acquires special significance as it was awarded to Prime Minister Modi in the year of the birth centenary of Sheikh Zayed,” read the statement.