Reaffirming close ties between Bhutan and India, the Himalayan kingdom on Friday conferred its highest civilian decoration, 'Order of the Druk Gyalpo' (Ngadag Pel Gi Khorlo), on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its 114th National Day even as India-China border tensions remain unresolved.
The conferment of the award comes at a time when Bhutan is struggling to deal with growing Chinese pressure on their border, as well as trying to work out a border deal with Beijing, which some reports had suggested did not suit India. The award is seen as a political gesture to India, underlining the importance of the relationship, that has endured the test of time.
Tweeting the news, Bhutan PM Lotay Tshering said he was overjoyed to hear “His Majesty pronounce Your Excellency Modiji’s (Narendra Modi) name for the highest civilian decoration, Order of the Druk Gyalpo”. Responding to the announcement, Modi said, “Thank you, Lyonchhen @PMBhutan! I am deeply touched by this warm gesture, and express my grateful thanks to His Majesty the King of Bhutan”.
Tshering tweeted: “HM (His Majesty) highlighted all the unconditional friendship and support Modiji extended over the years and particularly during pandemic.”