Hindustan Times (Lucknow)
Prez delivers a strong message to Pak from Bhutan
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.