speach6

Banquet Speech by Honourable Lyonchhen in

19 March 2011

Your Excellency Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani,

Honourable Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour and a privilege for me and my delegation to visit Pakistan, a fraternal member of SAARC, a close neighbor and a dear friend of Bhutan It is also my honour to convey the greetings of His Majesty the King of Bhutan to Your Excellency, the people and Government of Pakistan.

Excellency,

Though I have been to Islamabad on earlier occasions, I am deeply honored to be the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan to make a bilateral visit to Pakistan and, in doing so, demonstrate the high importance that we attach to our relations.

From the time we arrived, my delegation and I have been overwhelmed by the warmth of the reception and generosity of the hospitality extended to us. For this, I extend my deepest appreciation to His Excellency the Prime Minister, the government and people of Pakistan.

I recall with pleasure Your Excellency’s visit to my country in April last year for the Sixteenth SAARC Summit, during the course of which Your Excellency showed keen interest in our culture and customs. This was a gesture deeply appreciated by the Bhutanese people.

We in Bhutan greatly value our friendship and cooperation with Pakistan. One of the special features of our relationship is the intrinsic goodwill that the people in our two countries have for each other. I do hope that through regular exchange of visits at various levels, we can transform this goodwill into a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship and further strengthen the friendship between our two countries.

For us in Bhutan, Pakistan is not only a friend and a neighbor, but the birthplace of Padmasambhava or Guru Rimpoche, one of the greatest and most revered Buddhist teachers of Bhutan and indeed of the whole Himalayan Buddhist region.

It is only of late that the Buddhist legacy of this country is beginning to gain wider awareness in Bhutan. While time does not permit me to make a pilgrimage to Swat valley, I look forward to visiting Taxila, another great reminder of the Buddhist heritage of Pakistan. I am told that a delegation of monks from Bhutan had visited Swat and other places in July 2006. I look forward to similar visits taking place in the future. This is one way we can promote regional tourism and people to people contact.

Similarly, we must expand our cooperation in other areas. In this regard, I am pleased to inform that I had a very fruitful discussion today with His Excellency the Prime Minister on furthering cooperation between our two friendly countries.

In the multilateral foras, I am pleased to state that that our delegations have worked together in a number of areas such as climate change, human rights, election matters and so forth. Given our many shared interests and common challenges, I look forward to continuing this spirit of cooperation.

Excellencies,

As a country that has always believed in the importance of SAARC for regional cooperation in South Asia, it was a matter of deep honour, pride and satisfaction when Bhutan finally hosted a SAARC Summit in Thimphu in April last year – the Silver Jubilee Year of our Association. The success of the Summit would not have been possible without the support that we received from the Member States, and, I thank Pakistan for your support in contributing to the success of the Thimphu Summit. I have no doubt that Pakistan as an important member will continue to extend its support and cooperation for fulfilling the vision of SAARC as envisioned by our founding fathers.

On my part and that of the Royal Government, we will continue to strive to ensure that the momentum generated by the Thimphu Summit is maintained and built upon. Your

Excellency,

I had an extremely satisfying day, having had the privilege to engage in very fruitful discussions with Your Excellency and other senior leaders of your government. I am humbled by the tremendous goodwill that Pakistan has for His Majesty the King, my government and for the Bhutanese people. I can assure the distinguished gathering that the same sentiment prevail in Bhutan for the people and government of this great country. We in Bhutan fully empathize with the challenges that you are facing on various fronts. My best wishes and prayers are with the people and government of Pakistan.

Excellencies,

I shall be carrying back to Bhutan not only warm memories of my visit but a firmer idea of how to further Bhutan-Pakistan relations.

I would now like to conclude by inviting the distinguished gathering to join me in a toast to the good health and long life of His Excellency Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, the Prime Minister, the peace and prosperity of Pakistan and to lasting friendship between our two friendly countries.

Tashi Delek, and Thank You.

MoE – Informing Children of the New Global Goals

MoE - Informing Children of the New Global Goals

Lyonpo Mingbo Dukpa, the Hon’ble Sherig Lyonpo presided over the launch of the world’s largest lesson entitled “Informing Children of ...

Read More

UNICEF Regional Director calls on PM

UNICEF Regional Director calls on PM

Ms. Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia paid a courtesy call on Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay this afternoon at ...

Read More

PM signs Performance Agreements with Wangdue and Trongsa Dzongdags

PM signs Performance Agreements with Wangdue and Trongsa Dzongdags

The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay has travelled to Wangdue Phodrang and Trongsa Dzongkhags today. Upon reaching the dzongkhags, Lyonchhen and ...

Read More

PM meets the Singaporean Minister

The Prime Minister Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay today met with H.E. Mr. Lawrence Wong, Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth ...

Read More

                    

Speeches of HPM