Just as a highly testy and extended session of Indian Parliament got over—culminating in the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution—Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a three-nation confidence-building tour. With Kashmir’s special status taken away overnight, and India’s unfriendly western neighbor, breaking into a frenzied international diatribe, PM Modi’s trip became vital. Not only did he meet up with the G7 leaders, he convinced them that Kashmir belonged to India, and that this ancient nation would adequately resolve its internal matter, with or without dialogue with is squawky and belligerent neighbor.
Mr Modi first met with French President Emmanuel Macron and later with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe in France. Apart from expressing his nation’s support and solidarity with India’s rocketing space programme and the abiding commitment towards the International Solar Alliance (of which India and France are founding members), Mr Macron undertook a strong defence of India vis-à-vis Kashmir. Mr Macron mentioned that the abrogation of Article 370 had taken place as it was crucial to combating terrorism that had destabilized the sub-continent for the past 70 years. The Indian PM then flew to the Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain and to the U.A.E. While at Bahrain he was honored with the King Hamad Order of the Renaissance by the Bahraini King in recognition of India’s strong friendship with the Gulf nation, in UAE he received the Order of Zayed, the highest civilian decoration conferred by the country’s Government. He then returned to the quaint French resort town of Biarritz—once described by the 19th century novelist and poet Victor Hugo thus: