Amid rising Kashmir tensions, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has called Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who had recently drawn ire of hundreds of thousands of people for awarding Indian PM the country’s highest civilian honour.

According to reports, the “regional and international developments” were discussed over the phone call, while a tweet by the crown prince also confirmed the development.

The two dignitaries discussed “ways to enhance bilateral cooperation as well as the latest regional and international developments and issues of mutual interest”, the tweet said.


Mohammed bin Zayed — or MBZ — is also the deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces. The phone call between the two leaders comes days after Indian premier Narendra Modi was awarded UAE’s highest civilian honour.

The move had sparked outrage among rights activists over the Modi-led government’s clampdown on the Muslim-majority Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK).

MBZ had personally put the gold medal around Modi’s neck, with a portrait of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s first president after whom the order is named, displayed behind them.

The two men had also held hands for a moment and spoken quietly. “You deserve it,” MBZ had told the Hindu nationalist leader at one point while posing for photos.