While the world — and India — focused on Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike carried out in its aftermath, the Indian Army carried out a mega operation to eliminate threats posed by insurgents along the Indo-Myanmar border. Joint operations between the Indian and Myanmar armies were carried out from February 17 and March 2 to thwart a threat to a mega infrastructure project vital for the Northeast. The threat was from an insurgent group in Myanmar.
The operation was carried out when the world was focused on the Indian Air Force airstrike in Pakistan’s Balakot. The airstrike targeted Jaish-e-Mohammed’s largest terror camp and was seen as a response to the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force jawans were martyred.
While the focus in India and outside remained on the western border, the Indian Army silently carried out a major operation on the eastern front targeting the so-called Arakan Army, an insurgent group reportedly being raised by the Kachin Independence Army, which is designated as a terrorist group by Myanmar.
According to assessments, the mega Kaladan Project was under threat from the Arakan Army. The Kaladan Project is a transit project will connect Kolkata to Sitwe port in Myanmar.
The project will finally end up linking Mizoram and will be a new gateway to the landlocked Northeast. The project will reduce the distance from Kolkata to Mizoram by nearly a thousand kilometres and bring down the travel time by at least four days. (Notably, China has also been carrying out development projects at Kyaukpyu port near Sitwe.)