Prez de­liv­ers a strong mes­sage to Pak from Bhutan

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - NATION - Saub­hadra Chat­terji saub­hadra.chat­terji@hin­dus­tan­times.com

THIMPHU: Pres­i­dent Pranab Mukher­jee on Fri­day de­liv­ered a strong mes­sage to Pak­istan, re­fer­ring to Bhutan’s ef­forts to flush out ter­ror el­e­ments from its ter­ri­tory and the neigh­bour­ing na­tion’s unique tryst with democ­racy.

Ar­riv­ing to a rous­ing re­cep­tion, in which King Jigme Kh­e­sar Nam­gyel Wangchuck re­ceived him at the air­port, Mukher­jee held a 45-minute meet­ing with the King later where they cov­ered the en­tire gamut of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions.

Mukher­jee re­called Bhutan’s role in flush­ing out ex­trem­ists of NE In­dia in 2003 and said this ac­tion should be an ex­am­ple to all SAARC coun­tries. Ob­servers see it as a clear ref­er­ence to Pak­istan which had time and again failed to stop home­grown ter­ror ac­tiv­i­ties, fail­ing to act over in­ter­na­tional con­cern.

Bhutan does not in­dulge in ter­ror­ism, does not be­lieve in cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism and will make ev­ery ef­fort to con­trol and pre­vent it, the Pres­i­dent added.

Mukher­jee’s mis­sive to Pak­istan comes amid the Naren­dra Modi gover nment’s strong line on the trou­ble­some neigh­bour. A few months ago, In­dia had ear­lier called off di­a­logues with Pak­istan over the lat­ter’s reach out to the Hur­riyat. As Bhutan au­thor­i­ties signed an MoU with Na­landa Univer­sity to pro­mote ed­u­ca­tion, for­eign sec­re­tary Su­jatha Singh said, “Na­landa is very im­por­tant project not just for Bhutan but for the world.”

While hy­dro-power re­mains the key area of co­op­er­a­tion be­tween In­dia and Bhutan, the Pres­i­dent’s visit also dwelled on other as­pects of in­sti­tu­tion build­ing.

MUKHER­JEE HELD A 45-MINUTE MEET­ING WITH THE KING LATER WHERE THEY COV­ERED THE EN­TIRE GAMUT OF BI­LAT­ERAL RE­LA­TIONS.

PTI PHOTO

Prez Pranab Mukher­jee (cen­tre) with King of Bhutan Jigme Kh­e­sar Nam­gyel Wangchuck, Queen Jet­sun Pema and mem­bers of his del­e­ga­tion dur­ing a cer­e­mo­nial re­cep­tion at Tashich­hod­zong in Thimpu, Bhutan on Fri­day.

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