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India and Bhutan were scheduled to renew a friendship pact Thursday that includes a clause that Bhutan will not allow any activity on its soil against the interests of India, diplomatic sources said. The deal was to be signed after a meeting of Bhutanese monarch Jigme Khesar Namgyel and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Indian capital. The Bhutanese king arrived in India on a six-day visit Wednesday.
With the Centre focusing its attention on curbing extremism in the North East, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil on Wednesday called on Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk and sought his cooperation. Though the meeting was officially described as a courtesy call, it is understood that Patil took up the issue of outlawed ULFA insurgents taking shelter in Bhutan. The Bhutanese Army had launched an operation against the ULFA in 2004 and smashed a number of camps of ULFA, National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDBF) and Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO). Militants who had been arrested were handed over to India. The King, on his first visit here, is expected to sign a revised Friendship Treaty that will incorporate a clause saying that Bhutan will not undertake or allow any activity on its soil that could be against the interests of India.
Â Another amendment in the Treaty will allow Bhutan to import non-lethal military equipment from other countries without India’s consent. Earlier in the day, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan called on the King and is understood to have briefed him about India’s efforts in tackling insurgency along Indo- Bhutan border. The King, who will call on President A P J Abdul Kalam, is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday.