The Bhutan King landed in Assam, India on the 3rd November along with his entourage. On Friday, these Bhutanese nationals received a majestic welcome at the Lokpriya Gopinath International Airport in Guwahati, the capital city of Assam. The Chief Minister, Himanta Biswas, and some colleagues from the Cabinet were also present at the airport to receive them with flowers, folded hands, and Assam’s traditional ‘Gamocha’.
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Assam CM hosts the Bhutan King
Himanta Biswas, the CM of Assam, hosted the King of Bhutan. Sharing on X (formerly, Twitter), he asserted the magnanimous honor the ‘Druk Gyalpo’ (aka, king of Bhutan) brought to his state, Assam by visiting it. Moreover, this ‘ancient bonding’ between both the countries was epitomized by scholarly, and academic connections, infrastructural association, collaboration in healthcare, spiritual legacy, and community ties.
Biswas also reiterated the ‘exchange of scholars’ being a ‘cornerstone of the warm friendship’ between the two nations that also are Himalayan neighboring countries. In a clip posted by him on X, the CM was seen engaging with the Bhutanese students. In a similar thread on X, he claimed that the doors of Assam are always ‘open’ for these students.
The 3-day Visit
The three-day visit of the King, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, saw multiple events. The upcoming plans included His Majesty’s visit to the famous Kamakhya temple at the top of Nilachal Hills in Guwahati. Later, he did a ‘meet and greet’ with his nationals diaspora in the city. Furthermore, the Governor of Assam Gulab Chand Kataria invited him to his residence for a cultural program, followed by a dinner.
Posting on his X handle, the Governor reinstated his belief in the ‘time-honored bonds’ that united India and Bhutan. Additionally, he also shared how this connection found its ‘expression’ in the fields of academics, infrastructure, the mutual heritage of spirituality, and persisting people-to-people ties. On Saturday, the King, alongside his escorts, planned to visit the Kaziranga National Park, which is famous for its one-horned rhinos in the country.
During the tenure of the stay, Bhutan’s leader in India will also meet with the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, as stated by the official statement of the Ministry of External Affairs. Besides, the minister of external affairs, Dr. S Jaishankar, and a few other senior government officials will call upon the King in Delhi. The routine of the 3-day visit will also see the 43-year-old King traveling to the state of Maharashtra.
On Wednesday, the Cabinet passed the reservation of three MBBS seats in Indian medical institutions, namely, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Medical College (1 seat) and Hospital and Nalbari Medical College Hospital (2 seats) for the Bhutanese students. A day after this event, Royal Bhutan Ambassador H.E Major General Vetsop Namgyel called upon the chief minister of Assam, Himanta Biswa Sarma in Guwahati. The CM later shared the news of hosting His Majesty alongside the Queen in the coming days.
India and Bhutan share great ties mutually amidst the 649-km-long adjoining border area. Out of which, a 267-km border boundary is with Assam. The Indo-Bhutan Peace Treaty of Peace and Friendship, 1949 promotes, among other things, perpetual peace and friendship, free trade, and equal justice to each other’s citizens. Earlier this year, in April, the Bhutan King visited the Indian PM to discuss bilateral ties and issues of regional interests.
Key Highlights of the April Meet:-
- India held tight to her support for Bhutan’s development plans
- India agreed to extend the credit and financial facility to her neighbor
- The government of India acknowledged to raise the tariffs for the Chhukha hydro-electric project upon Bhutan’s demand
- Both governments discussed rail, air, and digital links between the nations
- The BHIM (Bharat Interface for Money) app will be reviewed and implemented in Bhutan