India's Real Problem Lies in its Bhutan Policy, Not the Border
Medha Bisht replies: A treaty can only be revised by the mutual consent of the concerned parties. The India-Bhutan Friendship Treaty was first. Why did Bhutan, which stood by India during its conflict with China and Pakistan, drift away? What caused the crisis in bilateral relations in. The bilateral relations between the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan and the Republic of India to Bhutan, the latter expressed concerns about India's ability to protect Bhutan against China while fighting a two-front war involving Pakistan.
On its part the Government of Bhutan agrees to be guided by the advice of the Government of India in regard to its external relations. The gesture was highly nuanced, very rare in international diplomacy. It stood by India in the face of its conflict with China in In fact, unlike other neighbours who quickly learnt the art of balancing the game, Bhutan has been rather late in joining the anti-India ranks.
This is because the relationship could continue for so long on the basis of Bhutanese conscientiousness. It seems that the rift would have surfaced long before, had it been left to New Delhi.
India-Bhutan Relations: Past, Present and Future — South Asia Program at Hudson Institute
China quickly voted in favour of her entry. Concomitantly, Thimphu affirmed its independent status, that is, it established diplomatic ties with Dhaka and raised its diplomatic representation in New Delhi to full ambassadorial level in Neither Government shall allow the use of its territory for activities harmful to the national security and interest of the other.
Playing with electoral politics was not a big deal. In the days leading up to the Bhutanese general election in JulyNew Delhi, in an unambiguous signal, abruptly cut subsidies on gas and kerosene sales, among other tough measures to Bhutan. China may well have been the cause but that was not the complete story and was in fact believed that the fissures in the neatly stitched ties remained under wraps for long due to the closely securitised relationship between New Delhi and Thimphu.
The events led conspiracy theories to flourish. Clearly, by stoking the discontent within Bhutan, real or imagined, India allowed itself to become a subject of attack and contempt amongst sections of Bhutanese.
The China factor in India–Bhutan relations
Bhutan was a protectorate of British India and came under the British suzerainty in This continued untilwhen a Bhutanese delegation visited India and wished to revise the treaties previously signed with the British.
Though the Anglo-Bhutanese treaties continued to guide the bilateral relations, Independent India signed a fresh treaty with Thimpu in — the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
This treaty formed the basis for the beginning modern relations between the two neighbors. Formal diplomatic relations were established in after a special office of India was opened in Thimpu.
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In its relations with India, especially since the late s, Bhutan has repeatedly made efforts to assert its independent identity and often expressed the desire to reduce its overdependence on the former. During the Sino-India war inBhutanese king declined to offer base to Indian troops. Last year, Bhutan decided to withdraw from the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement for the reason that it would adversely affect its environment and sovereignty.
Clearly, the Himalayan kingdom interprets its bond with India differently.
Bhutan–India relations - Wikipedia
Both countries have mutual interests in diverse areas of cooperation — security, border management, trade, hydro-power and many more. Hydropower generation is the single most important area of mutually beneficial cooperation in India-Bhutan ties.
Under the Agreement on Cooperation in Hydropower and the Protocol to the agreement, India has pledged to assist Bhutan in developing at least 10, MWs of hydropower and import the surplus electricity to India by Recently, a sum of Rs. Governed by the India-Bhutan Trade and Transit Agreement ofthe total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at Rs.
Under the agreement, Bhutan also enjoys duty free transit of its exports to third countries. Stobdan rightly points out that unlike Nepal, Bhutan has never played the China card against India.