The government’s recent decision to cancel one highway project and put another on hold in light of security reasons puts the spotlight on the security situation along our southern borders with Assam.
The nature of the security threat cannot be understated as the Indian army is carrying out large scale operations with thousands of troops against Bodo militants, NDFB(S) after the group’s attack led to the death of 81 people in Assam on 23rd December 2014.
What must be remembered is all these troubled and Bodo dominated areas where the NDFB(S) is active is all along Bhutan’s borders with Assam starting from Sarpang and ending in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Back in the 1990’s similar operations by the Indian army lead to various militant groups setting up camp in Bhutan which ultimately could be removed in 2003 only due to the brave and selfless leadership of His Majesty the Fourth King who personally commanded the troops and led from the front.
In order to avoid a repeat of the past the Royal Bhutan Army under the command of His Majesty the King is guarding and securing our borders against Bodo militants who may try to enter into Bhutan’s thick forests to try and set up camps.
A recent firefight earlier this year already shows that attempts are being made to enter into Bhutan which in turn is being thwarted by our brave armed forces.
The RBA under the leadership of His Majesty the King is taking such measures to safeguard the territorial integrity of Bhutan, our sovereignty and the security of our citizens.
Of the many things, the least we can do is not make a hue and cry over the cancellations of two highways whose construction would have hampered the efforts of our troops to secure our borders. The first priority is the security and sovereignty of the nation above everything else.
It must be also noted that while we ordinary citizens go about happily enjoying our daily lives our soldiers under the command of His Majesty the King is securing our borders and protecting our sovereignty in the face of grave challenges from across the border.
If there is a time for national unity and solidarity then it is now.
A combination of communication gap from the government and a politicized atmosphere has lead to various conspiracy theories and speculation on why the two highways have been put in the freezer. Though many did not know exactly why the two highways were put on hold the explosion of wild speculation, especially on the social media, shows that our people need to be more responsible, circumspect and careful in putting out information especially since in this case it concerns national security matters.
The NDFB(S) is essentially an Indian problem with its roots in Assam’s own internal politics; however, it becomes a Bhutanese problem when these militants try to enter into Bhutan. For the sake of our own security and sovereignty we cannot allow these militants to come and stay inside Bhutan. It would also hamper our relations with our largest developmental partner and investor India.
Bhutan has been successful in preventing the establishment of any militant camps inside Bhutanese territory due to the efforts of our armed forces.
The nation must rally around His Majesty the King and the armed forces and do everything in our collective efforts to ensure the security of our southern borders.
‘Ultimately without peace, security and happiness we have nothing,’ – His Majesty the King in the November 2008 Coronation address.