While India and the world was still busy discussing Balakot air strikes, Indian armed forces did stay back wasting time, as they were on a new mission against terrorist camps along the borders of Myanmar. In a joint operation with the Myanmar Army, the forces destroyed various terrorist camps that had mushroomed along the Mizoram-Myanmar border and were posing threats to a development project.
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.)
Large scale joint operations were launched by the Indian and Myanmar armies. The first phase targeted newly constructed camps bordering Mizoram. Part two targeted the deadly Naga group, NSCN (K); its their camps were destroyed up north around 1000 kms away bordering Arunachal Pradesh.
The operations — first of their kind in terms of deployment and covering areas all along the India-Myanmar border — went on for two weeks and ended on March 2. “In the last two years the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) that trains the Arakan Army in the Kachin State of Myanmar adjoining China had readied around 3000 cadres that moved to the South closing in on areas adjoining the Lawngtala district of Mizoram,” said a senior officer in the security establishment.
These were exactly the areas that cut through the proposed Kaladan Project that will link Sitwe in Myanmar to Mizoram, sources said.