Kathmandu, N.P.Upadhyaya: Environment conscious baby Bhutan, the de facto protectorate of the Indian regime as per the “imposed” 1949 Treaty with India, appears to have taken a firm decision of late which apparently hints that Bhutan would wish to free itself from the nonstop grip of the Indian regime.
Clue to these effects have been made public none less than by the sitting Prime Minister of Bhutan, Dr. Lotay Tsering who while talking to an Indian Daily the Hindu dated June 16, 2019, said that could well be taken as a subtle message to the regional Goliath that Bhutan shall go in favor of SAARC than talk high of the India preferred BIMSTEC.
Dr. Lotay Tsering, the President of Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT), comparatively a new party in Bhutan which has an an inner sense of bringing out a visible change in India-locked Bhutan, in a subtle manner seeks now to keep a comfortable distance with the Indian hegemon.
The vibrant Civil Society comprising mainly of the nationalist youths in Bhutan have taken a silent resolve that Bhutan must diversify its ties with the countries in the neighborhood ( meaning China and others ) so that Bhutan can time permitting lessen its over dependency on the regional bully-the Indian establishment.
This dramatic change in Bhutan has entered secretly after the advent of Dr. Lotay as the new Prime Minister.
An enlightened leader can change the nation. Bhutan under Dr. Lotay can be an example which must be learnt by the India preferred and elevated political animals in Nepal.
A highly qualified medical practitioner that Dr. Lotay Tsering is, must have sensitized the Bhutanese youths in his own manner, upon his elevation as the country’s Prime Minister and may have subtly hinted his younger generation to seek diversifications from the present day Indian confinement guaranteed by the 1949 Treaty with India.
As Prime Minister Dr. Lotay’s hands are tied with the Treaty and the King who has a distinct India tilt and thus he too cannot cross his India set diplomatic limits but yet he, Dr. Lotay, has dared to talk on issues which his predecessors would have not even think of under any circumstances.
Dr. Lotay, the Bhutanese Prime Minister says, “It is too early to call off SAARC and say it isn’t relevant or viable. SAARC has a long history and emotionally connected us all. I believe that we in South Asia need to work together. Geographically, we are grouped together but we aren’t doing well economically”.
Dr. Lotay, has in a direct but diplomatic manner sent pinching signals to Prime Minister Narendra Modi by stating June 16, that “geographically” the SAARC has brought the regional countries together and that, in an implied manner, Dr. Lotay says that the BIMSTEC can’t replace the SAARC and the Indian tail-the BIMSTEC is geographically placed in a different geographical location.
It is a direct message to Prime Minister Modi from Dr. Lotay, this is what is being believed in Nepal’s political circuit.
He says that SAARC has already a long history which by implication means that Bhutan too considers the BIMSTEC to be a newly formed organization which has yet to take deep roots into the South Asian milieu to which SAARC already has.
Bhutan was among the first few countries to have joined the SAARC body when approached by Nepal King Birendra and President Zia-ur-Rehman-the two founding fathers of the present day almost defunct SAARC which was later much appreciated by President Abdul Gayoom and Sri Lankan President Jayewardene.
King Jigmey Wangchuk and other SAARC leaders over the years have had already developed some sort of intimate friendship with each other as these leaders used to meet each year in some SAARC Capitals in rotation alphabetically.
But yet, the Bhutanese monarch appeared scared of India during the SAARC Summits. This was simply but natural because of the 1949 India-Bhutan Treaty.
Any country in the neighborhood going against the Indian will were instantly “taught a lesson” which had made the SAARC nations to take the play boy turned India’s Prime Minister Mr. Gandhi as a demon.
Mr. Gandhi imposed economic blockade on Nepal in 1989, March 23.
However, it was the combined efforts of the then SAARC leaders which had given a formal and structured and self-regulatory shape to what is now the defunct SAARC-the victim of the Indian inferiority complex.
Mrs. Indira Gandhi was against the formation of the SAARC body at its initial stage for she had in her mind that the smaller neighbors were all working as per the designs of China to gag India to which it was not.
As if this were not enough, the Bhutanese Prime Minister Dr. Lotay Tsering further advises some countries blocking the SAARC process to allow the resumption of its activities by opening hearts and march together and that too says Dr. Lotay, without “countering each other”.
“If India and Pakistan don’t work together for the region, nothing can move ahead”, says the Bhutanese Prime Minister.
He thus speaks that the two important countries of South Asia, Pakistan and India, must remain friendly if SAARC were to work effectively. (He is hoping against hope but yet he has hoped).
Has Bhutan committed a crime by spelling the name of Pakistan? Will India take penal actions against Bhutan for having talked of Pakistan? Let’s wait and see.
Reading between these lines one could easily draw a conclusion that he in a subtle manner urges India primarily to allow the SAARC process to continue as it had been working in the previous years and that since there is no such arrogance from Pakistani side so he in a way takes India as the main villain (?) to have been in a mood to kill the regional body as against the institutionalization of its tail-the BIMSTEC.
He has spoken many a things unspoken while being interviewed. But Dr. Lotay has sent abundant signals to the Indian regime.
Kudos to Bhutan Prime Minister.
A country which has ever remained under the shadow of the Indian subjugation since 1949 could speak this much is simply unbelievable but the fact is that Dr. Lotay Tsering, the Bhutan PM has daringly made it for his country and the region as well for which he deserves deep appreciations.
He needs to be appreciated by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Afghanistan and Pakistan most importantly. Is Pakistan listening?
If Pakistan were smart in acts of diplomacy it would have by this time already appreciated Bhutan for having dared to talk in favor of the SAARC. Pakistani diplomacy has yet to mature.
Nepal PM Oli-presumed to be an India man in Nepali politics-spoke surprisingly in favor of the SAARC right being in Delhi on June 1, 2019 and here is the Bhutan Prime Minister almost speaking the same language as regards the SAARC body on June 16, and that too by inviting an Indian media man right inside his own serene soil-Bhutan.
But how come PM Oli and Dr. Lotay Tseriing’s concerns on SAARC match? Or was it a combined brain of China and Pakistan?
Nepal’s views on SAARC has matched with that of Bhutan in a surprising manner which must have been so because Nepal and very lately Bhutan must have in reality realized that India was the real villain and someone had to speak the truth. Thanks Nepal and Bhutan both have spoken on this issue which has remained the hostage of the Indian arrogance.
Nepal and Bhutan though await calamities respectively from their declared inimical boss. Earlier the better. Economic blockade? What else India knows?
The Sri Lankan President too has already spoken favoring the resumption of the SAARC process.
What is more than interesting is that both the countries speaking in favor of the SAARC body were trusted and tested allies of India. So the question is that whether it is the Chinese brain or these countries took the risks themselves to speak more or less against their political master though in an undeclared way?
Yet another jolt to India is from baby Bhutan when the Prime Minister Dr. Lotay talking on Bhutan-China ties claims that “our each meet allows us to know each other better”.
It is here again that Bhutan wants to hint China that “we want to know you more ” which means that Bhutan would wish to take to a new height to the existing Thimpu-Beijing relations which could later pave for the final step for the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Though Bhutan says it has no ambitions to establish diplomatic ties with the big five nations of the world.
Bhutan’s courage has to be admired in that this interview from the Bhutanese Prime Minister has come close on the heels of Mr. Shankar’s visit to Thimpu which was his first trip after assuming the post of the India’s foreign minister.
(The Indian minister was kind enough to meet the Bhutan Prime Minister as the meet photos of the meet hinted. He gave the impression as if he was the new viceroy for Bhutan from India. Thanks he found some minutes for the Bhutan Prime Minister and the King as well).
Now the ball is in Beijing’s court and that “secret” diplomatic initiatives should be taken by China if it were to bring Bhutan out from the perennial grip of India-better recognized as the regional bully.
China must understand the pains of Bhutan and act accordingly because Bhutan can’t express its inner feelings.
South Asian intellectuals understand that Bhutan can’t inhale oxygen without the sanctions from New Delhi.
Though Dr. Lotay is bit concerned with the accumulation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in the recent days in and around Doklam-the disputed land that invited a long drawn standoff in between India and China in 2017.
Needless to say, India was about the invite a war with China on Bhutan’s behalf as per the most humiliating 1949 Treaty with Bhutan. Thanks the war was averted and India got a chance to distance itself from yet another humiliating defeat.
China understands Bhutanese inner pains but has little space to maneuver given the 1949 treaty with India remaining in force.
But China and other South Asian neighbors possess abundant sympathies for landlocked Bhutan. It is time that the Bhutanese youths should come into the open demanding more freedom from the Indian clutches.