All operations were inside India says former army chief turned minister


Retired Indian Army General V.K. Singh. Photo: Anindito Mukherjee/EPA

Retired Indian Army General V.K. Singh. Photo: Anindito Mukherjee/EPA

India's former army chief and now junior foreign minister V K Singh has come down heavily on 'uncalled exuberance' and said all Indian military operations have so far been conducted within India and not on Myanmar soil.

Singh told an event in Guwahati, capital of the northeastern state of Assam, on Thursday that Myanmar has 'strongly cooperated' with India.

“But our troops have not gone inside Myanmar, we just can’t.  The statement of the Additional Director General of Military Operation was that there were operations along the India-Myanmar border,” said Singh, before he attacked those who had goofed up by chest thumping about 'operations deep inside Myanmar'.

“Some people in their 'exuberance' claimed that the Indian troops had operated inside Myanmar. Those who had gone beyond their briefs must be questioned.”

Singh was trying to discipline his colleagues in the Council of Ministers, including former colonel and now junior information minister R S Rathore.

Rathore had claimed Indian military operations were 'deep inside Myanmar' and warned Pakistan to expect similar treatment if they continued the 'western disturbances'. 

The Indian Army launched a massive operation against militants along the India-Myanmar border on 9 June, inflicting heavy causalities on rebel groups.

The operation was launched after the NSCN-Khaplang and some other militant outfits attacked, on 4 June, an army convoy in Manipur's Chandel district and killed 18 soldiers and injured 11 others. 

Myanmar reacted sharply to speculation of Indian operations in its territory, emphasizing that all those operations had taken place inside Indian territory.

Myanmar's Army Chief Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing reassured Indian leaders during his Delhi visit last month of 'all possible cooperation to fight terrorism and insurgency'.

V.K. Singh said relations between India and Myanmar have started improving. 

“In fact, Myanmar is taking our concerns seriously and if everything goes well close relationship between the two countries will open up new opportunities of trade and connectivity,” he said.

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