Bhutan–Pakistan relations

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Bhutan – Pakistan relations

Bhutan

Pakistan

Bhutan–Pakistan relations refer to foreign relations between Bhutan and Pakistan. Relations have been active at least since 2004. Both nations are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) and the United Nations. Neither country has a resident ambassador.

They have two common neighbours, China and India. Bhutan has close relations with India, but Pakistani relations with India are more tense, so India has at times viewed Pakistani approaches to Bhutan with suspicion.[1]

History[edit]

Bhutan and Pakistan have had links for centuries.[2]

In 1971, Bhutan was one of the first countries to recognize the secession of East Pakistan as independent Bangladesh.[3][4][5]

Scholarships[edit]

Pakistan offers scholarships to Bhutanese students, particularly in medicine and engineering.[6]

Trade[edit]

Major exports from Pakistan are cotton yarn, articles of textile materials, cotton fabric (woven), sports goods and leather. Imports by Pakistan include raw jute, crude rubber, oil seeds, cork and chemical materials/products. Economic cooperation between the two countries is minimal, owing to high freight rates and difficulties to access landlocked Bhutan.[7] In 2008-2009 the total bilateral trade passed half a million US dollars.[8]

In the period 2007-2011 only 11 Pakistanis visited Bhutan as tourists.[9]

Visits[edit]

There have been regular contacts between the leaders of two countries at different International Forums[which?], besides the SAARC Summits. Bhutan attended the 12th SAARC Summit at Islamabad in January 2004. On the sidelines of the Summit, President and Prime Minister of Pakistan had bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Bhutan.[10] In November 2004, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz headed an official delegation to Bhutan, which raised suspicions in their common neighbour, India, that Pakistan may attempt to sabotage Indian interests in Bhutan.[1]

In March 2011 the Bhutani Prime Minister Lyonchen Jigme Yoser Thinley led a three-day delegation to Pakistan, and met with Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani. They covered a range of bilateral issues including economic, commercial, investment, educational and cultural links.[6][11]

In June 2012 a delegation of Bhuddist monks from Bhutan, travelling with the ambassador, was warmly received by Pakistan's Minister of State, who emphasized the need for personal and interfaith contact between the countries.[2]

Diplomatic representation[edit]

Neither country has a resident ambassador. The embassy of Pakistan in Bangladesh is accredited to Bhutan.[8] As of 2006 the ambassador of Pakistan to Bhutan is Alamgir Bashar Khan Babar.[12][13]

As of 2012 the ambassador of Bhutan to Pakistan is Dasho Bap Kesang.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Maitra, Ramtanu (25 November 2004). "Pakistan's Bhutan gambit worries Delhi". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Arif, Muhammad (13 June 2012). "A delegation of Bhutan's Buddhist Monks arrives to visit Pakistan". Nihao-Salam. Pakistan-China Institute. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  3. ^ http://www.dhakacourier.com.bd/?p=10193
  4. ^ "Pakistani Troops Open Major Drive". New York Times. 8 December 1971. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Constitution Issued Rahman Resigns". The Altus Times-Democrat. 11 January 1972. 
  6. ^ a b "Pakistan, Bhutan vow to cement trade, tourism ties". Daily Times. 20 March 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  7. ^ "Yearbook 2004-2005". Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Government of Pakistan. 2005. 
  8. ^ a b "Bhutan". The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  9. ^ Statistical Yearbook of Bhutan 2012. National Statistics Bureau - Royal Government of Bhutan. 2012. p. 149. 
  10. ^ http://www.saarctourism.org/twelth-saarc-summit.html
  11. ^ "Pakistan and Bhutan vow to boost ties in trade, tourism". Pakwatan. 19 March 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2013. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan envoy to Bhutan presents credentials". Bhutan Broadcasting Service text website, Thimphu. 29 January 2006. Retrieved 6 August 2013. ()
  13. ^ "His Majesty grants audience to Pakistan ambassador". Bhutan Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 6 August 2013.