PM Modi’s Two-Day Visit to Bhutan: Warm Welcome by Tobgay, Guard of Honor Presented

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Bhutan for a two-day visit. He was welcomed at the Paro Airport by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. Tshering greeted Modi by saying, “Welcome, my big brother.” Modi was also presented with the Guard of Honour.

During this time, it is said that the people of Bhutan are very pleased with Modi’s visit. The relations between India and Bhutan have been strong from before. Modi’s visit will further strengthen them.

According to news agency ANI, PM Modi will be staying in Bhutan on March 22-23. Earlier, the meeting was scheduled for March 21-22, but due to bad weather at Paro Airport, it had to be canceled.

Prime Minister Modi has arrived in Bhutan upon the invitation of Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering. PM Tobgay had visited India for five days (March 14-18). During his visit, he extended an invitation to Modi to visit Bhutan. This marks Modi’s first foreign trip since becoming Prime Minister in January 2024. During Tobgay’s visit, he met with President Drupadi Murmu and Prime Minister Modi. Several programs were also organized, including meetings with industry leaders.

According to Bhutanese citizen Tshewang Dorji, who spoke to ANI, “We were very excited to welcome Prime Minister Modi. All schools are closed today. All students arrived at the Express Highway to welcome him. We were very happy to welcome him.”

Regarding the visit, Prime Minister Modi mentioned, “Embarking for Bhutan. I am excited to participate in many programs that will further strengthen India-Bhutan friendship. Will also have the opportunity to meet His Majesty the King and the Prime Minister of Bhutan.”

Historically, Bhutan has always remained close to India, with India never intervening in its foreign policy. Despite Bhutan sharing borders with countries like America, China, Britain, France, and Russia, with a population of 800,000, it does not have diplomatic relations with them. In 1949, India and Bhutan signed a treaty covering foreign policy, trade, and defense. This treaty was revised in 2007 to remove the need for Bhutan to seek India’s guidance on foreign policy. India is now Bhutan’s largest trading partner and economic ally.

Bhutan shares a 600 km border with China, with two areas being the subject of the most disputes. Firstly, the Doklam plateau, covering an area of 269 square kilometers, and secondly, the Jakarlung and Pasamlung areas in northern Bhutan, covering an area of 495 square kilometers. The most serious of these disputes is Doklam, where the borders of three countries—China, India, and Bhutan—converge. In October 2021, China and Bhutan signed a “three-step roadmap” agreement.

Due to the border dispute with China, Bhutan holds significant importance for India. The border of Arunachal Pradesh, an Indian state, meets Bhutan’s eastern border. China aims to encroach upon Arunachal Pradesh to make it Bhutan’s neighbor. China has been constructing roads in the western part of Bhutan to connect strategic points even before.

According to reports, China seeks to expand its roads from Doklam to Ghamochen, posing a security threat to the Indian army stationed nearby. China’s efforts near the Siliguri Corridor pose a significant security risk for both India and Bhutan. China has been expanding its railway network in this region, which could greatly benefit its military during times of conflict.

Bhutan is crucial for India due to its strategic significance for border security. Bhutan initiated its first five-year plan in 1961 for economic development, with India providing comprehensive funding. In 2021, the Indian government opened seven new trade routes to enhance bilateral trade with Bhutan. India also allocated 45 billion rupees to Bhutan for its 12th five-year plan.

After India’s independence, both countries reached several agreements, with the most significant being Bhutan’s reliance on India for security and foreign affairs. While there have been occasional differences, cooperation between the two nations has remained strong, particularly in areas such as culture, education, healthcare, tourism, science, and technology, fostering mutual cooperation and support.

Rahul Sharma

My name is Rahul Sharma. As a passionate writer and explorer, I'm always seeking inspiration in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, food & drink, and travel. With years of experience in the industry, I bring a unique perspective to my writing, blending my love for culture, style, and adventure.