General VK Singh’s Tweets of ‘Disgust’ and ‘Duty’ Fuel Speculation, Barbs

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New Delhi:  Just after he attended a reception by Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit in Delhi on Monday evening, union minister and former army chief General VK Singh tweeted of “disgust” and “duty”.

The tweets are being interpreted as rebellion by the minister, who was asked to attend the event by the government, and an embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After he was allegedly asked to clarify his tweet, the minister tweeted that he was “disgusted to see certain sections of the media are twisting this issue.”

This morning, he posted another tweet criticizing the media over headlines that drew a contrast between his tweets and PM Narendra Modi’s greetings to Pakistan.

His digs at the media haven’t stopped speculation that his first few tweets conveyed his discomfort at being asked to attend the event.

“When duty becomes a burden, the appropriate thing to do is to put in papers and call it a day,” said Congress leader Manish Tewari.

“Gen V K Singh, if you feel so disguised (disgusted) being present at PAK HIGH COMMISSION then you better resign,” tweeted Ashutosh of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Sources say the government had decided days ago that General Singh, who is Minister of State for External Affairs, would attend the Pakistan envoy’s dinner to mark his country’s Republic Day.

The decision was reconfirmed yesterday, in the middle of a sharp exchange over Mr Basit’s invite to Kashmiri separatists like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Masarat Alam, a hardliner released recently from jail.

“I do not think the Indian government will have objections,” Mr Basit had said on Monday morning.

“There should be no scope for misunderstanding or misrepresenting India’s position on the role of the so- called Hurriyat.  Let me reiterate there are only two parties and there is no place for a third party in resolution of India-Pakistan issues,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin shot back.

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