India has begun another round of efforts to strengthen its military strongholds in the Dragon kingdom few months after it formally said to have laid off relations with military issues with this Himalayan kingdom.
Past week, the vice chief of the Indian Army visited Thimphu and met with the new king to persuade on issues related to military relations between the two nations. With influx of the ULFA, who in real terms invited by the fourth monarch during his drive to flush the southern Bhutanese out of the country, has been the issue of pretence to invigorate the Indian military presence in the Himalayan kingdom.
In many instances, the Indian side exaggerate the reappearance of ULFA militants in eastern Bhutan so as to make way for more military presence in Bhutan. So far, India has also placed its military camps in Thimphu and Paro. This would not, as India thinks, help it to tighten its grips in eastern districts which has remained the most disputed area with the Tibet.
The Buddhist temple and area in the north-east of the Trashiyantse district has been claimed by both Tibet and Bhutan. As time passes, Tibet has been merged to China and the claim over the area has now come from the growing world power. To secure Bhutan as its nomenclature of India hegemony, India is in need to extend its military presence in eastern districts. Good enough, ULFA presence is the best pretence.
Ironically, the government of Jigme Khesar, or his father, who tagged their southern citizens to be the terrorists, have not placed the tag of terrorists on ULFA militant. The Jigme government calls ULFA as insurgents of India, not a terrorists group. The diary of a ULFA militant recovered by the Indian security forces vividly expresses the relation between the Wangchuk dynasty and the ULFA guerrillas. As such, the Wangchuk dynasty has learnt the way of terrorising citizens from the ULFA militants.
The military presence of India in Bhutan would grow in the days to come. The insecure situation in the country with the approach of the election, declaration of a communist group to wage war against Wangchuks and growing push from the northern neighbour are some of the issues that India has been showing for extending its military presence in Bhutan.