Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s visit to India between April 3-5 is considered very important amidst the changed stand on the Doklam dispute. This issue can also be raised from the Indian side during the meetings to be held during this period. The King of Bhutan can clear the situation. In fact, Bhutan’s recent stand on the Doklam dispute has increased India’s concerns. In such a situation, everyone’s eyes are fixed on this journey.
Sources in the Ministry of External Affairs have, however, made it clear that the visit of the King of Bhutan is not taking place due to the statements of Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, rather its preparations were going on for a long time. But the way China is continuously making inroads in Bhutan and during the last five-six years it has changed the attitude of Bhutan through diplomatic methods, it is going to cause concern for India for security reasons.
As everyone knows, there was a confrontation between the soldiers of India and China in 2017 when the Chinese soldiers in Doklam started building a road on the land falling in the territory of Bhutan. Indian soldiers had stopped this. This place is close to Sikkim. Where the borders of China and Bhutan are also felt. Then Bhutan clearly believed that China had intruded into its territory.
Three countries are parties to the Doklam dispute
Some time ago Prime Minister Tshering clearly said two things in an interview given to a Belgian newspaper which shows that now Bhutan is more under the influence of China. One, he said that China has not encroached within Bhutan’s territory. Second, he said that three countries are parties to the Doklam dispute. All three are equal, no one is big or small. Whenever India and China want, Bhutan will be ready to hold talks. Earlier Bhutan had never considered China as a party in this dispute but now it is accepting it.
China is continuously increasing its military infrastructure in the areas near Doklam.
If sources are to be believed, China is continuously increasing its military infrastructure in the areas near Doklam. There have also been photographs of a village settlement which is apparently within Bhutanese territory. But the PM of Bhutan is saying that there has been no encroachment. In such a situation, doubts are being expressed whether Bhutan has handed over this area to China. If so then it is a wake up call for India.
India has been a big helper of Bhutan
According to sources, Bhutan’s economy is weak and it is dependent on India and China for help. India has been a great helper to him. But here China is also investing fast there and providing help. Therefore, a possibility is also being raised that this could be a pressure strategy of Bhutan. That’s why the attitude of the King of Bhutan is also important. During his visit to India, President Draupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S. Will meet Jaishankar. The Foreign Minister is also coming with him. Therefore, it has to be seen what clarification the King of Bhutan presents on the Doklam issue after Tshering’s statement.
Modi went to Bhutan in 2019
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Bhutan in August 2019. While last year External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and the Foreign Secretary had visited Bhutan in January this year. While the King of Bhutan had made a transit visit to India in September 2018 and the Prime Minister had visited India in 2018, 2019, the Foreign Minister in 2019 and the Foreign Secretary in August 2022, which shows the close ties between the two countries.
India provided financial assistance
India has provided financial assistance of 4500 crores to Bhutan for several development projects between 2018-23. While given medical equipment, vaccines etc during the Covid period. With the help of India, four big power projects have been established there with a capacity of 2000 MW. Apart from this, there has been a strong relationship between the two countries in all fields.
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